The University of Utah’s Black Student Union presents its annual Black History Month with the theme, “Because of them, we can: A celebration of the black experience.” The events provide an opportunity to take an in-depth, critical look at the experiences of African, African-American and black communities and their eloquent, vibrant and soulful experiences.
Black History Month activities at the University of Utah include:
Keynote Address: “School Choice as a Civil Right? Implications for Democracy in the Post-Brown Era” by Janelle Scott
Feb. 9. 5-6:30 p.m.
Sorenson Arts & Education Complex, Art Works for Kids Auditorium, 1721 E. Campus Center Drive
During the civil rights movement, school choice became a controversial and popular tool for policy makers who wished to defy the Brown v. Board of Education mandate to desegregate public schools. During the last several decades, advocates have reframed school choice as the sole remaining civil rights issue. Janelle Scott, associate professor of education and African-American studies at the University of California, Berkeley, will explore the policy developments of school choice and their implications on the future of public education and civil rights. She will provide a better understanding of how educational options, such as charter schools and privatized public schools can impact equity within the country’s school system.
Lunch and Learn Lecture: “12 Moods of Jazz”- Langston Hughes Project
Feb. 11, 1-2:30 p.m.
Olpin Student Union Building, Parlor A, 200 Central Campus Drive
Join Ron McCurdy, professor of music at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and past president of the International Association for Jazz Education, and Malcolm-Jamal Warner, actor, director and musician, best known for his role as Theo Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” for a discussion about the inspiration and development behind this sassy, scholarly and humorous multimedia performance of Langston Hughes’ epic poem, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.”
Film Screening and Panel Discussion: “Sarabah”
Feb. 19, 4-7 p.m.
Olpin Student Union Building, Saltair Room, 200 Central Campus Drive
A screening of “Sarabah,” a documentary on hip-hop artist Sister Fa fights to stop the practice of female genital cutting in her home country of Senegal. From her early days as an unpolished music phenom through a career-reinvention in Berlin, Sister Fa has continually smashed barriers in the male-dominated hip-hop world. But as this intimate film reveals, her strength of character was forged in a journey of hardship and transformation. Now, with the support of her husband and child, Sister Fa is ready to speak out about her own experience as a survivor of female genital cutting. Sister Fa will lead a discussion about the documentary after the screening.
Film Screening and Critique: “Dark Girls”
Feb. 23, 3-6 p.m.
Olpin Student Union Building, Union Theatre, 200 Central Campus Drive
“Dark Girls” is a 2012 documentary that explores the idea of colorism based on skin tone among African-Americans, a subject still considered taboo by many black Americans. The film reports on a new version of the 1940s black doll experiment, which proved that black children had internalized racism. Children were asked to select a white or a black doll based on questions asked, and they typically chose white dolls. In the updated version, black children favored light-skinned dolls over dark-skinned dolls. There will be a discussion and critique shortly after the screening.
Black Affairs Legacy Celebration Banquet
Feb. 28, 2-5 p.m.
Olpin Student Union Building, Crimson View (fourth floor), 200 Central Campus Drive
The month concludes with a banquet hosted by the University of Utah’s Black Student Union. The event celebrates those doing amazing things to support our African, African-American, and black students and communities. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased by contacting Amir Law, director of student services for the Office for Student Equity and Diversity.
For a full list of events, visit diversity.utah.edu.