Black History Month

black history month

This year's program begins a few days early with a performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble on Thursday, January 28. Two lectures will follow in February, the first by renowned scholar of black political thought Melissa Harris-Lacewell on February 19 and the second by historian and black power expert Peniel E. Joseph on February 27. (Wyatt Cenac, originally scheduled for February 17, has been canceled.) Two ROMP! events are also cross-listed with Black History Month programming. All events are free and open to the public unless noted otherwise.


dance *Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble

7 p.m., Thursday, January 28, 2010
Kaul Auditorium

The Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) was founded by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook in 1969 with the mission of bringing children, especially those in Harlem, the opportunity to learn about dance, creative expression, and artistic excellence. The award-winning group has performed at the 2004 summer Olympics, given premieres at Lincoln Center, and had the honor of giving the first performance of Firebird to a sold-out house in China in 2000. As part of DTH's 40th anniversary celebration, the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble, a professional, 16-member group of young dancers trained at Dance Theatre of Harlem School, has been touring the United States with the goal of expanding audience awareness of classical ballet. The Ensemble's tour is a part of DTH's commitment to education and outreach. Led by director Keith Saunders, the Ensemble's program is educational as well as inspirational and includes audience interaction. In addition to their evening performance, the Ensemble will give a lecture-demonstration in Kaul Auditorium at noon on January 28. This event is also free and open to the public and will include an informal demonstration of the art of classical ballet as well as discussion about the process of becoming a dancer.

*Unfortunately, due to an overwhelming response, we have reached capacity for the
7 p.m. performance of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble. Unclaimed tickets will be released 10 minutes before the show begins on a first-come, first-served basis, but we cannot guarantee entry.

If you have reserved tickets, please remember to arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of the performance; any unclaimed seats will be released 10 minutes prior to the event.


Wyatt Cenac CANCELED

7 p.m., Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Kaul Auditorium

Wyatt Cenac is a comedian, actor, and Emmy Award–winning writer. In Los Angeles, Cenac spent three seasons as a writer on FOX's animated show King of the Hill and also performed stand up at shows like "Comedy Death Ray" and "The Tomorrow Show." In 2008, Cenac starred in the film Medicine for Melancholy, which was nominated for three Independent Spirit Awards. Also in 2008, he moved to New York City, where he was born, to join the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as a correspondent and writer.


A Conversation with Imani Winds

2 p.m., Saturday, February 20, 2010
Psychology 105

Imani Winds

Grammy-nominated Imani Winds has carved out a distinct presence in the classical music world. The quintet has sought to bring new music and new voices into the modern classical idiom, including Felix Mendelssohn, György Ligeti, and Luciano Berio; Astor Piazzolla, Elliott Carter, and John Harbison; and the unexpected ranks of Paquito D’Rivera and Wayne Shorter. In conjunction with Black History Month, the members of Imani Winds—Valerie Coleman, flute; Toyin Spellman-Diaz, oboe; Mariam Adam, clarinet; Jeff Scott, French horn; and Monica Ellis, bassoon—will discuss their musical tribute to iconic African American entertainer Josephine Baker. The conversation, part of ROMP! and moderated by Reed professor of music Mark Burford, will explore the wind quintet as a distinctive vehicle for both players and composers. Portraits of Josephine Baker will be performed as part of the evening’s concert program. 

ROMP! Chamber Music Northwest Concert

Imani Winds

7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 20, 2010
Kaul Auditorium

Imani Winds, hailed as “nothing less than the future of the wind quintet” by the Washington Post, presents a program influenced by tango and Cuban music. Tickets: $10–48; call 503/294-6400, or visit Chamber Music Northwest.


Melissa Harris-LacewellMelissa Harris-Lacewell

7 p.m., Friday, February 19, 2010
Vollum lecture hall

Melissa Harris-Lacewell is an associate professor of politics and African American studies at Princeton University. Her academic research is inspired by a desire to investigate the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and to better understand the multiple, creative ways that African Americans respond to these challenges. She received her BA in English from Wake Forest University, her PhD in political science from Duke University, and she is currently a student at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Harris-Lacewell appears regularly on MSNBC and is a frequent contributor to The Nation online. Her work has appeared in scholarly journals and edited volumes, and she is the author of the award-winning book Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought (Princeton, 2004). She is currently at work on a new book called Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who've Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn't Enough (forthcoming, Yale University Press).


Peniel E. JosephPeniel E. Joseph

7 p.m., Saturday, February 27, 2010
Vollum lecture hall

Peniel E. Joseph, professor of history at Tufts University, is the author of Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama (2010) and the award-winning Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America (2006) as well as editor of Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level (2010) and The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era (2006). Joseph is the founder of a growing subfield in American history and Africana studies that he has characterized as “black power studies”—it connects grassroots activism to national struggles for black self-determination and international African independence movements. Joseph, who earned a PhD in American history at Temple University, is a frequent national commentator on issues of race, democracy, and civil rights; during the 2008 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, he provided historical commentary for the PBS NewsHour.

Black History Month programming is sponsored by the departments of anthropology, English, dance, political science (through the Robinson Human Rights Lecture Fund), and sociology (through the Robert H. and Blanche Day Ellis fund). It is also sponsored by the Division of Literature and Languages, the Office of the Assistant Dean of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of the Vice President and Dean of Student Services, the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, and the Office of the President.