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UPDATED: Numerous Black History Month Events Planned

Schools, Organizations Hold Celebrations or Discussions

Several organizations have planned events throughout the month of February to recognize and celebrate Black History Month. These events are free unless otherwise noted.

On Friday, presents David Dorfman Dance’s “Prophets of Funk—Dance to the Music.” The show kicks off at the Palmer Auditorium at 8 p.m. and celebrates the music of the funk group Sly and the Family Stone. Ticket prices range from $10 for students to $28 for general admission, and also vary based on time of purchase. On Feb. 28, the college hosts another performing arts show: “Acoustic Africa.” This show will welcome renowned musicians Habib Koité of Mali and Oliver Mtukudzi of Zimbabwe. This show begins at 8 p.m. and has the same range of ticket prices as Thursday’s performance.

Connecticut College will also put on a series of free Black History Month lectures. On Feb. 10, John L. Jackson will present “When Racial Paranoia Might Be Reasonable: What Dave Chappelle Can Teach Michael Richards about Comedy.” Jackson, a professor of communication and anthropology and associate dean of undergraduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, will begin this talk at 7 p.m. at the Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room of the Shain Library. A panel discussion entitled “Black Education in America” and featuring three professors will take place at 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Cro’s Nest in the College Center. Cherise Harris, an assistant professor of sociology at Connecticut College, will present a lecture entitled “Race, Class, and Gender: Dysfunction in Tyler Perry’s ‘Middle Class’” at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at 740 Williams Street. The series concludes on Feb. 23 with a discussion of Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey into the Ku Klux Klan. The book’s author, Daryl Davis, will lead the discussion and it will begin at 6 p.m. in room 014 of the Olin Science Center.

The will kick off the month on Saturday with “Sharing the Culture: A Celebration of Arts, Literature, and Education.” This fundraiser will support the children’s programs hosted by the center, and it runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Port ‘n Starboard at Ocean Beach Park. The speaker will be Rodney A. Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Tickets are $50, or $500 to reserve a table. For more information, contact 860-444-1955 or e-mail kentecultural@gmail.com.

The begins their Black History Month events with a presentation on Jordan Freeman, who was born in Connecticut and was a servant to Col. William Ledyard and freed prior to the Revolutionary War. Freeman is credited with avenging Ledyard’s death by slaying his killer, a Major Montgomery, at Fort Griswold. This presentation will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, and will be hosted by Kevin Johnson of the State Library’s History and Genealogy Unit. On Feb. 11, Feb. 18, and Feb. 25 the library and Norwich NAACP are sponsoring a black film series. Historian Lonnie Braxton will lead discussions of the films, all of which begin at 7 p.m. in the library’s community room.

The is recognizing Black History Month with a 2 p.m. performance by the Coast Guard Band on Feb. 14 in the Leamy Hall Auditorium. The pieces will include works by African-American composers and will be followed by a discussion in the hall’s ballroom. has a Black History Month trivia night for students at 8 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Clarke Center.

At the Raddisson Hotel, there will be a dual celebration of Black History Month and National Heart Month. This event features free health screenings and chair massages, as well as children's activities and exercise programs. It runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 12 and is sponsored by the African American Health Council of Southeastern Connecticut, the Ledge Light Health District, and the American Heart Association.

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