Indiana University

News Release

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Last modified: Thursday, January 28, 2010

2010 Black History Month features Marc Lamont Hill and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company

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Jan. 28, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will celebrate Black History Month with a diverse calendar of events, including a Feb. 10 lecture by Marc Lamont Hill and a Feb. 25 performance by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.

The kick-off event for the month will be a symposium beginning at 6 p.m. next Wednesday (Feb. 3), "The State of Black History Month in 2010 and Beyond," at the Georgian Room in the Indiana Memorial Union, 900 E. Seventh St.

Other events on the Bloomington campus will include activities by ensembles of the IU African American Arts Institute, art exhibits, the Readings in Race series, the Black Knowledge Bowl and a talent show. Events are free unless otherwise noted.

The university also is encouraging people to participate in many events being presented by the city of Bloomington, including a conversation about African American imagery on Feb. 4; the opening of an exhibit of paintings by local artist Joel Washington on Feb. 11; a Black History Month awards reception on Feb. 25 and a Black History Month Gala on Feb. 27. For a complete list of community Black History Month activities, visit

IU Bloomington's kick-off event will feature a panel discussion for students based on excerpts from the acclaimed PBS television documentary series, "Eyes on the Prize." Participants will include Audrey Thomas McCluskey, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; Claude Clegg, professor and chair of the Department of History; and Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, assistant professor of history. April Smith, a doctoral candidate in communications and culture, and Christianne Medrano, a doctoral candidate in education, will moderate.

"Black History Month developed out of a need to promote and accurately preserve the history of African Americans and the many ways they have contributed to our country," explained Eric Love, director of the Office of Diversity Education.

"The election of Barack Obama to the presidency has initiated debates and discussions around race and related topics. Have we as a society moved to a post-racial era where race is no longer significant? If so, is there still a need for a Black History Month? Are we finally sufficiently including the achievements and contributions of marginalized groups in our country's history, or is there still work to be done?," Love added. "These questions and more will be discussed at the Black History Month kick-off event."

Bill T. Jones, a contemporary dance choreographer who has raised issues of moral obligation, justice and politics, will present his latest work at the IU Auditorium, beginning at 8 p.m. on Feb. 25.

"Fondly Do We Hope . . . Fervently Do We Pray" takes as its subject matter the life and work of President Abraham Lincoln. First commissioned by the Ravinia Festival to honor the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, Jones has said it was a way to articulate, if not reconcile, the views of Lincoln he had as a young boy growing up during the civil rights struggle and as a mid-life liberal artist who "has very few heroes."

The dance theatre work investigates a handful of key moments from Lincoln's life, allowing song and memory to transport the audience to an emotional and intellectual space beyond the boundaries of space and time. By envisioning the America that might have been had Lincoln completed the Reconstruction, Jones exposes the great distance between what is and what could have been.

Tickets for the company's performance are available for $13-$23 for IU Bloomington students with a valid ID and $25-$33 for general public, on sale now. Individual tickets may be purchased online at, in person at the IU Auditorium Box Office, as well as through, all Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone at 800-745-3000. The IU Auditorium Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

IU Bloomington Continuing Studies is offering a course in connection with the dance company's visit. Anya Peterson Royce, Chancellor's professor of anthropology and comparative literature and a trained professional dancer, will teach the course, being offered on Feb. 16 and 23 at 7 p.m. Cost of the course is $40 before Feb. 9 and $45 afterwards. The course fee includes a ticket to the performance. The IU Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs is helping to underwrite the course, which is being offered in cooperation with the IU Alumni Association. More information is available by calling 812-855-4991 or by sending an e-mail to

Marc Lamont Hill, one of the leading hip-hop generation intellectuals in the country, will speak at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Alumni Hall of the Indiana Memorial Union. His free lecture, "Civil Rights Movement and Today's Struggle for Equality," is being presented by Union Board and is open to the public.

Hill has written and provided commentary on a variety of topics, including hip-hop culture, politics, education and religion, for outlets such as National Public Radio, The Washington Post, Essence magazine and The New York Times. He has been a frequent political contributor for Fox News Channel and Black Entertainment Television. Prior to joining Fox News, Hill was a regular guest on CNN, MSNBC and CourtTV.

A nationally syndicated columnist, his writing appears weekly in Metro Newspapers and in a daily blog on his Web site,

He is co-author of Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity and the co-editor of Media, Learning and Sites of Possibility and The Anthropology of Education Reader. He is currently completing two manuscripts: Knowledge of Self: Race, Masculinity, and the Politics of Reading; and You Ain't Heard It From Me: Snitching, Rumors and Other People's Business in Hip-Hop America.

Last fall, he joined the faculty of Columbia University as an associate professor of education, and he is also affiliated with the university's Institute for Research in African American Studies.

Other observances at IU will include:

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