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Smith College Celebrates Black History Month with Full Program of Events

From a conference on gender issues in hip-hop culture to a lecture on "Reflecting Black" by preacher/educator/author Michael Eric Dyson, members of the community, both on and off the Smith College campus, can recall the contributions of African Americans as well as consider some of the challenges confronting black America today at a number of events celebrating Black History Month.

On Saturday, Feb. 19, the Black Students Alliance will host their annual New England conference. A distinguished group of speakers-including rap artist and author Sister Souljah, black culture expert Tricia Rose and writer and co-founder of The Source James Bernard-will present lectures, workshops and a panel discussion on "Gender in Hip-Hop Music and Culture."

Topics will include the mental and physical consequences of using certain gender terms both inside and outside the home, as well as how gender concepts in hip-hop have played a critical role in the genre's acceptance by mainstream culture-both in the U.S. and abroad.

The conference, which is open to the public, runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in Wright Hall Auditorium and includes a performance by hip-hop artists The Harlem Knights. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the cost is $15 for the general public; $10 for children and seniors.

Provocative speaker Michael Eric Dyson, known for his hip-hop style of delivery and encyclopedic intellectual powers, will present a free public lecture on "Reflecting Black" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 29, in Wright Hall Auditorium. Dyson, who holds a distinguished faculty position at DePaul University, is the author of numerous books on black culture and social justice including "Between God and Gangsta Rap: Bearing Witness to Black Culture" (1996) and most recently "I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr." (2000).

A Baptist minister, Dyson mixes liturgy, lecture and lyrics into more than 200 public speeches annually. "I preach. I teach. I write. I lecture. Sometimes I rap. It is enormously important not to be limited," he explains.

Other Black History Month events include a Feb. 18 concert by hip-hop jazz group The Roots with special guests Run DMC at John M. Greene Hall and a performance on Feb. 27 at Helen Hills Hills Chapel by the Absolom Jones Gospel Choir of Trenton, N.J.

For a complete listing of Black History Month events at Smith College, see following schedule.

Events for Black History Month at Smith College are sponsored by the Black Students Alliance, Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Smith African Students Association and Office of the President. For more information, call (413) 585-4933.

Smith College
Black History Month
Schedule of Events
February 2000

All events listed below are open to the public, and, unless
otherwise noted, free of charge.

Friday, Feb. 18
Concert The Roots with special guests Run DMC. Tickets can be purchased at the door or at Northampton Box Office (413) 586-8686; B-Side Records, Northampton (413) 586-9556; For the Record, Amherst (413) 545-0412; Tickets Unlimited, UMass/Amherst (413) 256-6134; or all TicketMaster outlets. General Admission $16. 8 p.m., John M. Greene Hall

Saturday, Feb. 19
Conference "Gender in Hip-Hop Music and Culture." Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. General admission $15; seniors and children $10. For more information, call 413/585-4933. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Wright Hall Auditorium

Spring Jam with music from the African Diaspora, including reggae, soukous, zouk and kwaito. General admission $3. 8 p.m., Davis Ballroom

Sunday, Feb. 27
Religious Service "In Celebration of Black History" with Protestant Chaplain Rev. Leon Burrows. 10:30 a.m., Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Choral Performance by the Absolom Jones Gospel Choir of Trenton, N.J.
2 p.m., Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Monday, Feb. 28

Photo Exhibit "Face to Face: Relations Between American Jews and African Americans," by Laurence Salzman. Through March 10. Hrs: M-F, 9 a.m.-
5 p.m. For more information, call (413) 585-2750. Sponsored by Fine Arts Council, Hillel and the Helen Hills Hills Chapel. Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Tuesday, Feb. 29
Music in the Noon Hour Soprano Karen Smith Emerson and pianist Monica Jakuc will perform "Troubled Water" by African-American composer Margaret Bonds. 12:30 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall

Lecture on "Reflecting Black," by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor, DePaul University. For more information, call 413/585-4933.
7 p.m., Wright Hall Auditorium

Wednesday, March 1
Gallery Talk for "Face to Face" photo exhibit by photographer Laurence Salzman. Refreshments served. 4:30-6 p.m., Helen Hills Hills Chapel

February 9, 2000


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