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A-State Plans Black History Month Celebration


JONESBORO – An exciting calendar of events is on tap as Arkansas State University prepares to celebrate Black History Month, Feb. 1-28. The theme of the 2015 celebration is “A Century of Life, History and Culture.” Black History Month is coordinated by the A-State Multicultural Center.

Events begin Tuesday, Feb. 3, from 5-7 p.m., when ASU Museum hosts a Black History Month celebration featuring Ethel Tompkins, who will speak about her experiences as a black student during Hoxie School’s integration in 1955.  Following the lecture, visitors will enjoy African American desserts and visit with Tompkins and retired Hoxie teacher Viola Meadows.  Admission is free.

In addition to the celebration, the museum will be showing “Hoxie: The First Stand” in the museum auditorium (room 156) on Tuesdays, Feb. 10, 17 and 24, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. In this documentary, David Appleby tells the story of the integration of Hoxie School.

The museum is located at 320 University Loop, in the west wing of Dean B. Ellis Library.

Next is the annual Soul Food Day event, Thursday, Feb. 5, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the A-State Military Science Building, 1921 Aggie Road. This event, in its 10th year, is sponsored by the Strong-Turner Alumni Chapter of the ASU Alumni Association, the Multicultural Center, the Delta Studies Center and the Office of Diversity.  For details, contact Peggy Wright at pwright@astate.edu.

The father and son piano duo, Ryan and Ryan, will perform at Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive, Friday, Feb. 13. The pair has experience in classical, jazz, ragtime, hip-hop and funk that allows them to create exciting new music and provide fresh interpretations of old. For tickets, contact the A-State Box Office at (870) 972-2781 and for additional information, email whymes@astate.edu.

The “Black History Month Forum: All Lives Matter” will be presented Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m., in the Carl R. Reng Student Union auditorium (second floor). One may email Dr. Lillie Fears at lfears@astate.edu for details.

The Multicultural Center will present the Gospel Explosion, Thursday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall in the Carl R. Reng Student Union. The Gospel Explosion is a celebration of black culture through gospel music and its significance throughout history.

Gospel recording artist Merlon Devine, a native of Little Rock and now a resident of the Washington, D.C., area, will be a featured performer.  Contact Candence Brooks in the Multicultural Center, candencewilliams@astate.edu, for details.

The All-Black Affair on Friday, Feb. 27, presented and hosted by the Black Students Association (BSA), is the final event in BSA Week. The All-Black Affair and BSA Week are held at the end of February to close out Black History Month.

Marking the 10th anniversary for the All-Black Affair, festivities get underway at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall in the Student Union. The affair includes dinner and a dance with friends, entertainment and recognition of special guests and members. Dress is semi-formal and everyone wears an all-black ensemble, hence the name All-Black Affair. 

Each year the BSA holds a week filled with events featuring topics such as sex education forums, alcohol awareness seminars, talent shows, community service projects and the All-Black Affair.

The All-Black Affair is designed to honor and recognize BSA members and a select group of A-State faculty and staff who have been extremely instrumental to the organization and aided in the year's success.

Tickets for singles and couples are available, but seating and dinner are limited.  The event is open to everyone on the A-State campus and the Jonesboro community. Email abriel.williams@smail.astate.edu or latika.johnson@smail.astate.edu for tickets and additional information.

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Black History Month Poster