February 01, 2012
Danielle Lacey
314-977-2519

SLU Marks Black History Month

The public is invited to join Saint Louis University as it honors the achievements of African Americans throughout the month of February.

In the spirit of Saint Louis University's Oath of Inclusion to "challenge worldviews through education inside and outside the classroom," all members of the of the community are invited to join SLU students, faculty and staff in celebrating Black History Month. The University, lead by the efforts of the Cross Cultural Center, the Black Student Alliance, and the African American Studies Program will host a variety of events, including lectures, an art exhibition, open forums, a trivia night and a jazz festival.

"Black History Month is a special time when we recognize the countless historical and cultural contributions of African-Americans to our society," said University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. "No matter the time of year, I know that one of our SLU community's greatest strengths is its diversity - and by that I mean its people of diverse beliefs, diverse backgrounds and diverse faiths."

Dick Gregory
As a student at Sumner High School, Gregory led a march protesting school segregation.

As in previous years, the highlight of the month-long celebration is the lecture delivered by the keynote speaker. This year, famed comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory will discuss, "The World According to Dick Gregory: An Evening of Humor and Humanity," at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Wool Ballrooms of Busch Student Center. While the lecture is open to everyone, because of the frank language and content of the speech, it is recommended for audiences 16 and older.

A leading civil and human rights activist, Gregory has written 15 well-received books, and is known as a comedian, and television and film personality. Inspired by the work of leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Gregory took part in the Civil Rights Movement and used his celebrity status to draw attention to issues such as segregation and disfranchisement.

This talk is sponsored by the Cross Cultural Center, in cooperation with the Department of History, the African American Studies Program and the Doerr Center for Social Justice Education and Research. For more information, contact the Cross Cultural Center at 314-977-2119.

'Spirit and History' brochure cover
Experience the African-American journey through the brush strokes of two noted painters.

Throughout the month of February the Saint Louis University Museum of Art will host Spirit and History: Paintings by James Hasse, S.J., and Judge Nathan B. Young. The exhibit tells the story of the African-American experience through the paintings of James Hasse, S.J, who spent more than 40 years of his ministry in African American parishes throughout the Midwest, and Nathan Young, co-founder of the St. Louis American newspaper and the first African-American municipal judge in the City of St. Louis.

SLUMA will host the exhibit until March 4. Museum hours are 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. A PDF of the exhibit brochure is also available for download.

For more information, visit the SLUMA website or call 314-977-2666.

Other events include:

  • Join the BSA for a night of friendly competition centered around Jeopardy style African-American history and trivia from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, in the Saint Louis Room in Busch Student Center.
  • Learn more about pertinent health issues within the African American community at "Health in the African American Community" 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, in rooms A and D of Busch Student Center.
  • The African American Studies program will host a discussion titled "Black Spirit, Black Body: Roundtable on Health, Culture and Religion" at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in room 332 in Xavier Hall.
  • The BSA Soulfood and Jazz Night will be held 7-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, in Refectory Hall (room 157) in DuBourg Hall.
  • The African American Studies program will also host 'SLU Night @ The Black Rep' at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center.

About Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University is a Catholic, Jesuit university ranked among the top research institutions in the nation. The University fosters the intellectual and character development of more than 14,000 students. Founded in 1818, it is the oldest university west of the Mississippi and the second oldest Jesuit university in the United States. Through teaching, research, health care and community service, Saint Louis University has provided one-of-a-kind education, leadership and service for nearly two centuries. For more information, visit www.slu.edu.

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