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Area commemorates Black History Month

By Lori Szepelak


Throughout Western Massachusetts, a host of lectures and special events are planned this month across college campuses in celebration of National Black History Month.

A sampling of the eclectic array of programming follows:

The Harlem Quartet performs works by minority composers on Feb. 16, 8 p.m., in Sweeney Concert Hall at Smith College, Northampton. For details, visit

Westfield State College is hosting a series of events, including: "Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes" by Dr. Carlton Pickron, Dean, Academic Achievement Center, on Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in Ely Main Lounge; on Feb. 21, 7 p.m. in Ely Main Lounge, a video presentation and discussion titled "Hughes' Dream Harlem" is planned by Dr. Kamal Ali, Assistant Professor, World Languages, Multicultural & Gender Studies Department; Feb. 26, 7 p.m. in the Ely Main Lounge, a video and talk titled "What's Race Got To Do With It?" will be presented by Dr. Margot Hennessy, Assistant Professor, World Languages, Multicultural & Gender Studies Department; Feb. 27, 7 p.m., in Ely Main Lounge, a video presentation and lecture titled "Revolution '67," is slated by Dr. Stanley Jackson, Professor, Psychology Department; Feb. 28, 7 p.m., in Scanlon Banquet Hall, the Third World Organization hosts a "Discover Africa Banquet." The menu features barbecued chicken, fried chicken, Spanish rice, macaroni and cheese, candied yams, cornbread, corn, cake and cookies. Tickets are $6 per person. On March 4, a multimedia presentation of the Langston Hughes Project, "Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods For Jazz," will be performed at 9 p.m. in Ely Main Lounge. For more information on any of these events, visit

A dinner and large soulful display is planned Feb. 21, beginning at 3 p.m., at the Sprague Cultural Arts Center at American International College, Springfield. For details, visit

A free gospel concert is slated Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in Rivers Arena at Western New England College, Springfield. For information, check out

Springfield Technical Community College will host its fourth annual Black History Month Lecture Series from 4 to 11 p.m. on Feb. 23. Tickets are $20 for the general public and $15 for students, and will be available at the door. Dr. Touissant King Hill, a cousin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will speak on behalf of the King family, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. From 5:30 to 7 p.m., a personal journey into the life and times of the Honorable Marcus M. Garvey will be highlighted by his son, Dr. Julius Garvey, and will review Marcus Garvey's historical legacy in the United States, Canada, Africa and the Caribbean. Bob Marley's biographer Roger Steffens will present a two-hour film and lecture on the life and works of musician Bob Marley from 7 to 9 p.m., and the 15-member Bob Marley Ensemble of the Berklee College of Music will close out the evening's events with a live performance of Bob Marley music.

A New Orleans Comedy Show Fundraiser is planned Feb. 23 at 8 p.m. in Veritas Auditorium at Elms College, Chicopee. Tickets are $5 at the door. For details, visit

The Bay Path College Sister Act Gospel Choir will present a Southern Gospel Brunch on Feb. 24 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Blake Dining Commons on the Longmeadow campus. An all-you-can-eat southern-style brunch will be enjoyed as the choir recounts the African-American woman's story of struggle, suffering, triumph and celebration. Performances to feature Bay Path's Praise Dance Team and the Shiloh Seventh Day Adventist Women's Praise Team. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for children and students with ID. Reservations are required by Feb. 18 to 565-1066. For information, visit

Springfield College hosts D.R.E.A.M. Studios for its presentation of "Dance of the Jubilation 2008" on Feb. 29 and March 1 at 7 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center. On March 5, the Langston Hughes Project, "Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods For Jazz," will be featured at 7:30 p.m. in the Fuller Arts Center. For details, visit