STOCKTON – The University of the Pacific’s annual Black History Month celebration involves a number of activities that honor the history and heritage of African Americans and the African Diaspora. Throughout the month of February, students, faculty and staff put on numerous events, including a keynote speaker, gospel concert, poetry reading, roundtable discussions and various guest lecturers.
Activists Dr. Melba Beals and Dr. Angela Davis, gospel legends The Clark Sisters and nationally recognized poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips will be featured as University of the Pacific celebrates Black History Month in February. The theme for this year’s celebration is “A Century of Black Life, History and Culture.”
“It’s great we have an opportunity to celebrate the contributions African-Americans have made,” said Shannel Hawkins, student co-chair of Pacific’s Black History Month Planning Committee. “We are once again collaborating with campus groups and alumni and community leaders to present excellent speakers, music and poetry, “real talk” discussions and more.” Here is a summary of the events:
On Tuesday, February 3, Dr. Melba Beals, journalist and member of the Little Rock Nine, will lecture at 7:00 p.m. at Faye Spanos Concert Hall. The Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students, were the first to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Beals’ lecture will be on empowerment and her book, “Warriors Don’t Cry.” Admission is free. Seating is limited.
On Tuesday, February 17, author, scholar and political activist Dr. Angela Davis, will lecture at Faye Spanos Concert Hall at 7:00 p.m. Dr. Davis is internationally known for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression and is a strong advocate of gender equity and prison reform. This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited.
On Thursday, February 26, a presentation by poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Presidents Room. Winner of the 2013 Whiting Writer’s Award, Phillips’ will share how he unravels the world and finds ways to create art with language. Admission is free. Seating is limited.
On Friday, February 27, Gospelfest 2015 will cap off UOP’s Black History celebration in grand style. The concert features the legendary Grammy Award-winning gospel group, The Clark Sisters. With a recording career spanning four decades, The Clark Sisters are the largest selling female gospel group of all time. Anthony Brown and Group Therapy will open the show. Their song, “Testimony” was named the most popular gospel song of 2013 by Billboard. The concert will take place at the Bob Hope Theatre, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. General admission tickets are $45 in advance and $50 the day of. Students tickets are(day of); $35 (advance); $40 (day of); $25 (advance); $30 (day of); Tickets range $35-60 and and can be found online at http://go.Pacific.edu/Gospelfest2015 or the Stockton Arena Box Office. The Bob Hope Theatre is located at 242 E. Main Street, Stockton.
“I am very proud of the hard work the committee has put in to make this celebration a success.,” said Randall Ogans, staff co-chair of Pacific’s Black History Month Planning Committee. “We are proud to have this celebration in Stockton and really appreciate the support we get from the community year after year.”
The Pacific Arts and Lectures Committee, Office of the Provost, Beyond Our Gates, Benerd School of Education, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Ethnic Studies Department and Pacific Alumni Association, Office of Admissions are co-sponsoring events throughout the month. For more information about Pacific’s Black History Month celebration, please call Pacific’s Multicultural Center at (209) 946-7707.