Yale Bulletin and Calendar

January 28, 2005|Volume 33, Number 16















Paul Beauchamp, whose documentary about the murder of an African-American youth 50 years ago sparked the U.S. Justice Department to reopen the case, will speak on campus Feb. 24.

Black History Month program aims
to 'touch the spirit of everyone'

The power of one individual to effect change is the theme of the Afro-American Cultural Center's celebration of February as Black History Month.

This year's program will include a variety of events, from exhibitions to performances to lectures and more.

Highlights will include talks by Paul Rusesabagina, whose heroism during the Hutu-Tutsi genocide 10 years ago is depicted in the film "Hotel Rwanda"; Keith Beauchamp, whose documentary about the 1955 murder of Emmett Louis Till, a 14-year-old African American, recently led to the reopening of the case; Dr. Bruce Jackson, co-founder of a project to reunite African Americans with their ancestral roots in Africa through DNA analysis; Carol Ione, who has written a book about American women of color; and State Representative Bill Dyson of Connecticut. Several events will also be offered in conjunction with an exhibition honoring the contributions of peace activists Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisaku Ikeda.

"During Black History Month 2005, we are acknowledging the black presence at Yale and throughout the world as well as continuing our celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Afro-American Cultural Center," says Pamela George, director of the center and assistant dean in Yale College.

"Most importantly," adds George, "we want to touch the spirit of everyone by highlighting the dignity in the power of one person to create greater awareness, transformation, peace and justice. Gandhi, King, Ikeda, Jackson, Dyson, Rusesabagina and Beauchamp are all examples of this. Carol Ione in her book 'Four Generations of Women of Color' amplifies the power of several generations of women."

The Black History Month celebration officially began with a program on Jan. 30 about the Victory Over Violence initiative, screenings of short films about Gandhi, King and Ikeda on Jan. 31 and the M.K. Gandhi Lecture by Pravin Bhatt, secretary of the South Asia Studies Council, on Feb. 3.

The following is a list of upcoming activities; unless otherwise indicated, events are free and open to the public. For information, call (203) 432-4131.

* "Gandhi, King, Ikeda (GKI) Photographic Exhibit: Three Cultures, Three Faith-Traditions, Two Continents and One Legacy of Building Peace." Through Feb. 9; call for viewing times, (203) 432-4131. Afro-American Cultural Center (AACC), 211 Park St.

* "Education for Sustainable Development" Workshop and Panel Discussion. Sunday, Feb. 6, 2-4 p.m. AACC. The event will focus on a recent article written by Ikeda. Scientists, humanists, students and others will come together to share perspectives about alleviating poverty without destroying the environment in the process.

* "Henry David Thoreau's Influence on Gandhi, King, and Ikeda," a lecture and reception marking the closing of the GKI Exhibit. Wednesday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m. AACC. The featured speaker will be Ronald Bosco, Distinguished Service Professor of English and American Literature at the University at Albany and past president of the Thoreau Society. His talk is titled "'Traveling into a far country': Henry Thoreau's One Night in the Concord Jail and Its Global Legacy of Non-Violent Dissent."

* "Our Visual Soul: Black Student/Alumni Art Exhibit." Feb. 9-March 4; open for viewing 6-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 1-4 p.m. Fridays and by appointment. AACC. There will be an opening reception for the show at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10. Sponsored by the AACC's Sankofa Student Alumni Series.

* Annual Black History Month Dinner. Friday, Feb. 4, 6 p.m. Calhoun College dining hall, 189 Elm St. The featured speaker will be Bill Dyson, State Representative, 94th District (New Haven). Sponsored by Calhoun College and the Afro-American Cultural Center with support from Goldman Sachs. Free to Yale students with a meal plan; all others call (203) 432-0740 for a ticket.

* "Shadow and Light," a performance by Sidra Bell '01. Sunday, Feb. 13, 3 p.m. Off- Broadway Theater, 35 Broadway. As a student Bell founded the Alliance for Dance at Yale and helped to bring Off-Broadway Theater into being. She has since founded her own professional dance company, Sidra Bell Dance New York. She and company members will perform her original works; a discussion of the work and her profession will follow. Sponsored by the Afro-American Cultural Center's Sankofa Student Alumni Series and Saybrook College.

* "The Wiz of Elm City," written and directed by School of Drama student Jordan Mahome. Thursday-Saturday, Feb. 17-19, at 8:30 and 11 p.m. nightly (no late show on Thursday). Yale Cabaret, 217 Park St. The 1970s musical "The Wiz" is the basis of this production, which is set in the 1980s, a decade that Mahome says "was dope to grow up in -- yet in retrospect, tragic in many ways: the Reagan era and his economic 'strategies,' the Cold War, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, the decay of inner city communities and the influx of crack cocaine into urban areas all over the country. ..." Mahome has changed both the dialogue and the music to reflect the later decade, adding music from Prince, Janet Jackson, LL Cool J, Bon Jovi and Guns 'N' Roses. Ticket prices: $10-$12. Dinner and drinks available. Call (203) 432-1566 to make reservations.

* "Our Literate Soul," a night of prose, poetry and dramatic readings by an ethnically diverse group of undergraduates, graduates and community members. Friday, Feb. 18, 8 p.m. Branford College common room, 74 High St.

* Reading and discussion featuring Carol Ione, author of "Pride of the Family: Four Generations of American Women of Color." Saturday, Feb. 19, 3 p.m. New Haven Free Public Library, Stetson Branch, 200 Dixwell Ave. A reception will follow, hosted by the AACC.

* "Careers in Theater" panel. Sunday, Feb. 20; time TBA. AACC. Part of the center's new "Re:Present!" program. Contact natalie.paul@yale.edu for more information.

* "Rwanda: A Lesson Yet To Be Learned," a talk by Paul Rusesabagina. Monday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. Hall of Graduate Studies (HGS), room TBA, 320 York St. In 1994, the African nation of Rwanda descended into violence as the Hutus began a bloody genocide against the Tutsi, killing almost one million people in 100 days. In the midst of this, Rusesabagina managed to save his family and over 1,200 other people by giving them refuge at the hotel he managed -- a feat celebrated in the film "Hotel Rwanda," starring Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle. Rusesabagina will speak about his experience; his ongoing support of Rwanda; the genocide in Darfur, Sudan; and current issues in international humanitarian aide. Sponsored by the AACC, Saybrook College, the Law School's Schell Center for International Human Rights, the African Studies Program, the Slifka Center for Jewish Life at Yale, the Student National Medical Association, Yale African Student Association, the School of Nursing, Dwight Hall and Orphans of Rwanda, another Law School student organization.

* "Reuniting African Americans With Their Ancestral Roots," a talk by Bruce Jackson, founder of the African-American DNA Roots Project. Wednesday, Feb. 23,
6 p.m. Rm. 211, HGS. The African-American DNA Roots Project is a non-profit, collaborative effort of Jackson, a New Haven native who is now a scientist at Boston University School of Medicine, and Bert Ely of the University of South Carolina Department of Biological Sciences. The founders note that in order to "break" enslaved Africans, they were forced to forget their homes and where they came from -- in essence, to forget who they are. The DNA project uses publicly available data to match African Americans with their ancestors original African homelands. Jackson's talk is sponsored by the AACC, the Black Graduate Network, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and STARS (Science, Technology and Research Scholars Program).

* A screening of the documentary "The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till" and a talk by director Keith Beauchamp. Thursday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m. AACC. In 1955 in Chicago, two white men beat and shot to death Till, a 14-year-old African American, and threw his body into the river -- all because he talked to and perhaps whistled at a white woman. The defendants, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milan, were later acquitted by a trial of 12 white men. The U.S. Justice Department recently reopened the murder investigation, citing Beauchamp's documentary as one of the major factors in that decision, as well as a starting point in their investigation.

* Cultural Show, featuring dance, music, drama, food and crafts. Saturday, Feb. 26,
7 p.m. Sudler Hall, 100 Wall St. Sponsored by the Yale African Student Association and Yale West Indian Student Organization.

* "The Wiz." Wednesday-Friday, March 2-4. Off-Broadway Theatre. Contact vernon.riley@yale.edu for ticket information and performance times. This student production of the original musical will be directed by Vernon J. Riley '07 and choreographed by Ayesha K. Faines '07.


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