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GVSU events celebrate Black History Month

  • A Poetry Jam on February 14 is one of many events that will celebrate Black History Month.

Posted on January 31, 2013

The Underground Railroad in Michigan, African American traditions and folk, and a poetry jam on Valentine’s Day will be featured throughout February to celebrate Black History Month at Grand Valley.  

Sponsored by Grand Valley’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, all events are free and open to the public. Contact OMA for more information at or (616) 331-2177.

Historically Black Fraternities and Sororities
February 5, noon-1 p.m., room 2263, Kirkhof Center
Donald Mitchell Jr., assistant professor of higher education at Grand Valley, will discuss the impact of black fraternities and sororities on the community. The event is in conjunction with OMA’s Diversity Brown Bag Series.

Afro-Futurism: Considering Blacks in Science Fiction through Octavia Butler’s Kindred
February 11, noon-1 p.m., room 2263, Kirkhof Center
Bobby J. Springer, associate director of Multicultural Affairs at Grand Valley, along with a student panel, will discuss the science fiction novel “Kindred,” by Octavia Butler, which is about a modern African American woman who is transported to the antebellum South.

Positive Black Women Annual Comedy/Poetry Jam

February 14, noon-1 p.m., Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center
The fourth annual Poetry Jam will celebrate Valentine’s Day by bringing the campus community together through poetry. Hosted by Positive Black Women, Grand Valley students, faculty and staff members will recite poems in a cafe-style atmosphere.

A Taste of Soul
February 15, noon-1 p.m., Kirkhof Center Lobby
Event participants will taste-test and learn about traditional African American soul food.

Effective Leadership and Service
February 19, 4-5:30 p.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center
Patrick Miles Jr. was nominated by President Obama in March of 2012 to serve as U.S. attorney for the West District of Michigan. He will discuss leadership, services, professionalism and diversity. The event is in conjunction with OMA’s Professional of Color Lecture Series.

Storytelling: The Roots of African American and Folk Traditions

February 20, 2-3 p.m., Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center
Rev. Robert Jones Sr will use traditional African American music, including folk, blues and spirituals, to share stories about African American culture and history.

Freedom, Slavery and the Underground Railroad in Michigan

February 27, 4:30-6 p.m., Loosemore Auditorium, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
February 28, noon-1:30 p.m., Pere Marquette Room, Kirkhof Center

Veta Tucker, associate professor of English at Grand Valley, will give a presentation about the history of abolition in Michigan. She will discuss a secret network that assisted people, who were held in slavery in Michigan and those who escaped slavery in the South, to find freedom.

Supporting sponsors include African/African American Studies, Black Student Union, College of Community and Public Service, College of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Science, Inclusion and Equity, LGBT Resource Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Positive Black Women, Seidman College of Business, Women’s Center and WGVU Public Media.

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