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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Reed College celebrates Black History Month with lectures, music, and art exhibits

February events will feature the gospel group Fairfield Four, author Dr. Cornel West, race scholar James Gibson, poet Tim Seibles, and a photo exhibition on the Black Panthers

PORTLAND, OR (January 3, 2005) - Reed College will celebrate Black History Month this February with a variety of speakers and artists, including the a cappela gospel group The Fairfield Four, Grammy Award winners for their work in "Oh Brother Where Art Thou"; Dr. Cornel West, author of Race Matters, which radicalized America's dialogue on race, justice, and democracy; acclaimed poet Tim Seibles; and James Gibson, expert on civil liberties and race and the author of a forthcoming book on the transformation of South African society in the context of its much heralded Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In addition, the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery is presenting "Black Panthers, 1968: Photographs by Ruth-Marion Baruch and Pirkle Jones," featuring extraordinary photos of one of the most turbulent times in recent American history.

All events are free and open to the public . For information, visit or call the Reed events line at 503/777-7755.


Black Panthers 1968: Photographs by Ruth-Marion Baruch & Pirkle Jones Exhibition
January 4-February 20
Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery

Artist talk with Pirkle Jones
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 9
Biology 19
Reception follows at 8 p.m. in the gallery

From July to October of 1968, noted California photographers Baruch and Jones were invited by Eldridge Cleaver to chronicle the Black Panther movement in and around Oakland, California, the headquarters of the organization. The resulting photographs were exhibited at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in the 1968 show A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers. This exhibition brings together 45 photographs from the original exhibition.

Organized by the Berkeley Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley

The Cooley gallery, in Reed's Hauser Memorial Library, is open Tuesday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Visit for more information.                                                                                                                                       

The Fairfield Four
8 p.m. Wednesday, February 2
Kaul Auditorium

Grammy Award winners the Fairfield Four have been among the top-ranked gospel groups in the country for more than 50 years. Deemed a National Treasure in 1989 by the National Endowment for the Arts, these masters of a cappella represent African American heritage like few groups in our nation's history. Their Grammy was awarded for their work in the recent movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou."

Dr. Cornel West
Lecture & book signing
Democracy Matters
7:30 p.m. Friday, February 18
Kaul Auditorium

Cornel West's scholarship weaves together the American traditions of the Baptist church, transcendentalism, socialism, and pragmatism. His best-selling book, Race Matters, changed the course of America's dialogue on race, justice, and democracy; the follow-up, Democracy Matters, has recently been published. West received his bachelor of arts from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Princeton. He is the Class of 1943 University Professor of Religion at Princeton University.

Tim Seibles
Poetry Reading
8 p.m. Thursday, February 24
Vollum Lounge

Poet Tim Seibles is the author of six collections of poetry, most recently Buffalo Head Solos. His other books include Hurdy-Gurdy, Hammerlock, and Body Moves . He is a recipient of grants, fellowships, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, and the National Writers Voice Project. According to writer Patricia Smith, "Listening to Tim like listening to the voice of the griot praising, admonishing, cursing, blessing, and calling us together..." Seibles teaches at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

James Gibson
Can Truth Reconcile a Divided Nation?
7 p.m. Monday, February 28
Vollum Lecture Hall

James Gibson is a well-known scholar of constitutional law, civil liberties, judicial behavior, and research methodology. His forthcoming book investigates the transformation of South African society in the context of its much-heralded Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and finds that South Africans of all races--even whites--condemn apartheid. Gibson is the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government at Washington University in St. Louis.

Generously cosponsored through Reed's Public Policy Lecture Series by the David Robinson Memorial Fund for Human Rights


Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit .