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Friday, January 31, 2014

SU Celebrates African-American History Month

African American History MonthSALISBURY, MD---From lunch counter sit-ins to marches throughout the South to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the Civil Rights Movement sparked widespread changes in the United States.

The Association for the Study of African-American Life and History commemorates those who played a part in the momentous era as part of “Civil Rights in America,” this year’s African-American History Month theme.

Salisbury University joins in this celebration with a special series of events.

Larry Gibson, professor of law at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, keynotes the series 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. He speaks on “The Civil Rights Movement.”

Growing up in Baltimore, Gibson was the first African-American class officer at Baltimore City College. Attending Howard University in the early 1960s, he was student body president, as well as the chair of D.C. Students for Civil Rights.

He chairs the Commission to Coordinate the Study, Commemoration and Impact of the History and Legacy of Slavery in Maryland and was the principal advocate for the renaming of Baltimore Washington International Airport in memory of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He recently authored the book Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice, which will be available for purchase and signing following the talk.

SU’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture hosts a screening of the documentary Voices of the Indiantown 7 p.m. Wednesday February 5, in the center’s gallery, 190 Wayne Street. African Americans who grew up in the Indiantown area of Handsell, just north of Vienna, MD, tell their stories about growing up in Dorchester County.

In the film, representatives from the Pinder, Jackson, Jolley and Chase families, among others, discuss the schools, churches and farm jobs that led to further education and professional careers in the early to mid-20th century. The documentary is a project of the Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance, funded, in part, by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council.

University Dining Services’ annual African-American History Month Dinner is 4:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, February 7, in the Commons, featuring live entertainment by the Bernard Sweetney Jazz Quartet. Cost is $11.53, $7 for children 5 and under. Sweetney, a premier jazz drummer since the 1960s, has performed with Roberta Flack, Shirley Horn and others.

Events turn to the stage Saturday, February 8, as the Sozo Performing Arts Ministry of Greater New Hope Church and Ministries presents Church House Monologues: The Stories My Momma Never Told Me at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre of Fulton Hall.

Written and directed by award-winning playwright Elder Treena Ringgold, the production examines the lives of nine different people with nine different problems and one God. A montage of characters offers an up-close and personal view of what happens behind closed doors when church is not in session.

The next week, the SU Gospel Choir and Dance Ensemble present an African-American History Month program 7 p.m. Saturday, February 15, in the Wicomico Room.

The series continues with “An Evening with Sonia Sanchez” 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 26, in Perdue Hall’s Bennett Family Auditorium. One of the most important writers of the Black Arts Movement, Sanchez has authored more than a dozen books of poetry, as well as plays and children’s books. The recipient of the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry and the Langston Hughes Poetry Award, she was the Laura Carnell Professor of English and Women’s Studies at Temple University. She reads from her works at SU.

The Union of African-American Students, Student Organization for Activity Planning, Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts, and Multicultural Student Services Office co-sponsor her visit.

The series culminates with a Multicultural Student Leadership Summit 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 8, in the Worcester Room. Admission costs apply for non-SU students.

Sponsored by the Multicultural Student Services Office, admission to all events is free unless otherwise noted. The public is invited.

For more information call 410-548-4503 or visit the SU website at

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