SALISBURY, MD---Salisbury University celebrates African-American History Month with a series of February programs ranging from lectures to dance and gospel. This year’s theme parallels the national theme, “The Quest for Black Citizenship in the Americas.”
Dr. Kariamu Welsh inaugurates the series with SU’s second annual Distinguished Lecture in Dance 7 p.m. Monday, February 2, in Holloway Hall Auditorium. The chair of Temple University’s Dance Department, she leads Kariamu and Company, a collection of professional dancers using contemporary choreography, music and poetry to deepen the genre of African dance. The company presents its show, “Traditions,” at 8 p.m., following the lecture.
Other highlights include:
Dr. Jon-Christian Suggs, author of Whispered Consolations: Law and Narrative in African-American Life, keynotes the series 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 10, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. Professor emeritus of American and African-American literature at the City University of New York, he speaks on “‘Imperium in Imperio’: Double Consciousness, Double Citizenship and the Promise of the Obama Presidency.”
Comedian Ronnie Jordan performs 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 11, in the Wicomico Room.
Musician Carl Winters speaks 7 p.m. Thursday, February 12, in the Gull’s Nest of the Guerrieri University Center on “Kalimba: Hip Hop, Jazz and Beyond.” Nicknamed the “Kalimba King,” Winters performs and talks about the role the kalimba—the African thumb piano—plays in the political, cultural, medicinal and spiritual life of African culture.
Author Linda Duyer speaks on her book, Round the Pond: Georgetown of Salisbury, Maryland, 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 18, in Room 190 of the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture in SU’s East Campus Complex. Though little remains of the oldest African-American neighborhood in Salisbury, Round the Pond documents some of this community’s rich history.
The American Spiritual Ensemble returns to Salisbury 4 p.m. Sunday, February 22, at Asbury United Methodist Church. Conducted by Dr. Everett McCorvey, the group’s director and founder, the ensemble features SU music faculty John Wesley Wright and includes spirituals, Broadway showtunes and other music in the African-American tradition. Admission is $10, $5 for children. A master class for SU music students, led by McCorvey, is 12:30 p.m. Thursday, February 19, in the Great Hall of Holloway Hall. Admission to this performance is free.
Author Terrance Dean speaks at 8 p.m. Tuesday, February 24, in the Wicomico Room. A veteran entertainment executive, Dean is best known for his 2008 memoir Hiding in Hip Hop: On the Down Low in the Entertainment Industry—from Music to Hollywood.
The series culminates as the Bobbi Biron Theatre Program presents the critically acclaimed musical The Gospel at Colonus February 26-March 1 and March 4-8. Shows are 8 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays, with a 3 p.m. matinee on Sundays, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.
An inspiring reimagining of Sophocles tragedy Oedipus at Colonus, The Gospel at Colonus vividly conveys powerful themes of redemption and forgiveness inherent in Greek tragedy. Not a traditional musical, it is more of a theatrical oratorio, which combines old and new gospel rhythm and blues with a touch of Motown.
Robert Smith directs, with musical direction by John Wesley Wright. Tickets are $12, $10 for seniors, and are available in advance by calling the SU Box Office at 410-543-6228.
Admission to all African-American History Month events at SU is free unless otherwise noted, and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.