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Press Releases

Monday, January 31, 2005

SU Celebrates African-American History Month

SALISBURY, MD---The Salisbury University Office of Multiethnic Student Services celebrates African-American History Month through scholarship, the arts and a visit by renowned poet Nikki Giovanni.

The commemoration begins Tuesday, February 1, with the exhibit “African-American History in Figurine” at the SU’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture. Figurines on display are from the collection of Dr. Clara Small, professor of history, and represent landmark events and people in African-American history. Included are notables such as Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Small also provides the series’ first lecture, “The Eastern Shore and the Underground Railroad,” part of SU’s Brown Bag Lunch Discussion Series noon Wednesday, February 9, in the Social Room of Holloway Hall. Small has published several papers, including Abolitionists, Free Blacks, and Runaway Slaves, which was featured in the book A History of African-Americans on Maryland’s and Delaware’s Eastern Shore. She researches Eastern Shore African-American history using oral history, official documents, and other sources. She also serves on the Maryland Governor’s Task Force on Slavery.

Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, co-founder of the Association of Black Women Historians and history professor at Morgan State University, speaks on “The African Dispora” 7 p.m. Thursday, February 10, in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center. She has written many works on African-American women’s history including Women in Africa and the African Diaspora: A Reader and Black Women’s History at the Intersection of Knowledge and Power. Her book African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote: 1850-1920 won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Prize.

SU Dining Services serves an African-American History Month dinner of soul food 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, February 16, in the Bistro of the Commons. Menu items include fried catfish, barbecued ribs, fried chicken, chitterlings, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, collard greens with ham hocks, potato salad, black-eyed peas, pig’s feet, sweet potato biscuits, corn bread, banana pudding, sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. Admission is $8.50 for adults, $4.95 for children.

Robert Smith of SU’s Communication and Theater Arts Department speaks on “Manufacturing Culture: Representation and the Black Collectible” 7 p.m. Thursday, February 17, in the Wicomico Room. Smith discusses his collection of 19th and 20th century memorabilia and the pervasive African-American stereotypes, such as the mammy, rendered in everything from kitchen wares to vacation souvenirs. Smith curated an exhibit on Black collectibles at SU last year.

The history of African-American women is the subject of a performance by “Sisters and Voices” 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 23, in the Wicomico Room. The multi-media presentation looks at the lives of female musicians and offers everything from the gospel songs of Mahalia Jackson and the blues of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday to the rock ‘n’ roll of Tina Turner and the grooves of Chaka Khan.

African-American History Month events continue into March as renowned civil rights activist, poet and Grammy nominee Nikki Giovanni speaks on “Art is Diversity: Diversity is Art” 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

Giovanni has written more than two dozen books including illustrated children’s literature, essay compilations and poetry volumes. Her book Racism 101 includes bold and controversial essays on American racial issues from multiple perspectives. Other critically acclaimed works are Love Poems, Blues, For All the Changes and Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea. She has received the NAACP Image Award, Woman of the Year awards and Governors’ Awards in the Arts from Tennessee and Virginia.  She also holds 21 honorary doctorates.

Her lecture is sponsored by the Student Office of Activity Planning, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, Union of African-American Students, SU chapter of the NAACP and Office of Multiethnic Student Services.

All events are free unless otherwise noted, and the public is invited. For information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at "

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