Black History Month

black history month

This year’s events honoring Black History Month at Reed celebrate music, political activism, and scholarship. The program, which is free and open to the public, opens February 6 and 7 with a master class and performance by award-winning composer and pianist Geri Allen. A second event, February 21, brings internationally known writer, scholar, and activist Angela Davis to campus. The program concludes with a lecture by historian Nell Irvin Painter on February 28.


AllenGeri Allen

Saturday, February 7, 2009, at 8 p.m.
Kaul Auditorium

Geri Allen, an award-winning pianist, composer, and educator, has performed and recorded with a diverse group of leading musicians over the last 25 years, including Charles Lloyd (with whom she has toured for several years), Mal Waldron, Sir Simon Rattle, Vernon Reid, George Shirley, Ron Carter, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dewey Redman, Mary Wilson, Betty Carter, Wayne Shorter, and Charlie Haden. Among recordings released under her own name are The Nurturer, Twenty One, and, most recently, the critically acclaimed Geri Allen: Timeless Portraits and Dreams. Allen’s work as a composer has garnered numerous awards from SESAC as well as commissions from Lincoln Center, Music Theatre Group, American Music Theatre Festival, and Stanford University. She is the first woman and youngest person to win the Danish Jazz par prize. Allen is an associate professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan, and holds a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied with Dr. Nathan Davis, Dr. K Nketia, John Blacking, and Dr. Bell Yung. On February 6, the day before her performance at Reed, Allen will teach a master class, also open to the public, at 4 p.m. in Reed’s Eliot Hall chapel.


Angela DavisAngela Davis

Saturday, February 21, 2009, at 7 p.m.
Kaul Auditorium

Angela Davis is an internationally known writer, scholar, and activist who has been deeply involved in the struggle for economic, racial, and gender equality in the United States. Davis’ teaching career has taken her to San Francisco State University, Mills College, and UC Berkeley. She has also taught at UCLA, Vassar, the Claremont Colleges, and Stanford University. She has spent the last 15 years at UC Santa Cruz where she is professor of the History of Consciousness, an interdisciplinary Ph.D program, and professor of Feminist Studies. Davis is the author of eight books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. In recent years, her work has focused on the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early ’70s, when she spent 18 months in jail and on trial after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.” She has conducted extensive research on numerous issues related to race, gender, and imprisonment. Her most recent books are Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire (Seven Stories Press, 2005) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (Seven Stories Press, 2003). She is now completing a book on prisons and American history. 


Nell Irvin PainterNell Irvin Painter

Saturday, February 28, 2009, at 7 p.m.
Vollum lecture hall

Nell Irvin Painter, a leading U.S. historian, is Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University. A prolific and award-winning scholar, her most recent books are Creating Black Americans (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Southern History Across the Color Line (University of North Carolina Press, 2001); The History of White People is slated for publication in 2009 (W.W. Norton). Painter received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, her M.A. from UCLA, and her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. She also studied at the University of Bordeaux, France, and the University of Ghana. She has received honorary doctorates from Wesleyan, Dartmouth, SUNY–New Paltz, and Yale, and has been a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Bunting Institute, and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. Prior to joining the faculty of Princeton in 1988, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

Black History Month programming is sponsored by the departments of English, music, political science, psychology, and sociology (through the Robert H. and Blanche Day Ellis fund), 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, and the Office of the President.