University of Lynchburg will hold several events in the next several weeks to celebrate Black History Month.
On Feb .12, spoken word performer Frankie Soto will share poetry at 7:30 p.m. in the Westover Room, on the second floor of the Drysdale Student Center. Soto gave a popular, well-attended performance at LC in 2015, prompting a return invitation. He is the author of “A Weed in a Garden of Extraordinary Flowers” and “Forever is Not Enough.” His video performance of his poem “Guessing Game” about HIV was nominated and premiered at Atlanta’s A3C Hip Hop Film Festival.
Dr. Fitzhugh Brundage, a history professor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will present “The Life and Legacy of Booker T. Washington” on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. in Sydnor Performance Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. On Feb. 27, a group of LC students will travel to the Booker T. Washington National Monument, in Hardy, about 45 miles from LC. The event is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Clifton and Dorothy Potter Lecture Fund.
The events celebrating African-American history continue on March 3 with Galen Abdur-Razzaq’s “Women in Jazz” presentation, featuring lecture and performances highlighting the artistic contributions of jazz artists such as Bessie Smith, Mildred Bailey, Mary Low Williams, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and more. Listeners will learn about the jazz artists’ personal lives and their ability to read music, perform, and survive in a male-dominated jazz culture.
These events follow two related events in January. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Chad Goller-Sojourner presented “Riding in Cars with Black People and Other Newly Dangerous Acts: A Memoir in Vanishing Whiteness” to a crowd that overflowed Sydnor Performance Hall. Fortunately, a live webcast was available in the chapel. Then Keith Lee, a dancer and choreographer, presented a show on Jan. 31 celebrating the lives of Martin Luther King Jr., Mahalia Jackson, Jimmy Slyde, and others.