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Events highlight Black History Month

February 01, 2008

Events during Black History Month at ASU will touch on many themes, from health, music and art to the forces that shaped the Civil Rights movement in the United States.

Many of the observances are student-generated.

Students and faculty members will play host to an exhibit and celebration to raise the awareness of health disparities in the African-American community from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Feb. 1, at the Downtown Phoenix campus, in the University Center lobby. The event offers visual and performing arts, along with free blood pressure screenings for the public.

Local artists, dancers and musicians will perform. The emphasis will be on HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and mental health, and the need for greater access to prevention and treatment. Free parking is available in the University Center garage.

The social impact of hip-hop lyrics and culture will be the focus of a two-week campaign based around “Beyond Beats and Rhymes,” a riveting documentary that examines representations of masculinity, violence, homophobia and misogyny in today’s hip-hop and rap music.

The film was created by Byron Hurt, an activist who provides black male leadership, expert analysis and seminars on gender violence prevention. It will be screened from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 5, in Coor Hall L1-20, as well as in several classrooms the following week.

Hurt will be on campus to present a lecture discussion from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 20, in Murdock Hall 201. The campaign, sponsored by the Intergroup Relations Center, along with Multicultural Student Services and Wellness and Health Promotion, explores the positive and negative influences of hip-hop culture, and its evolution among all races and ethnicities. Other events include:

• A “poetry slam” from noon to 2 p.m., Feb. 14, on Hayden Lawn.

• A panel discussion from noon to 1:30 p.m., Feb. 20, in the Memorial Union’s Fiesta Room, featuring professors Matthew Whitaker and David Hinds.

• A poetry night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Feb. 21, at the Elias Rodriguez House, located at 927 E. Eighth St. in Tempe.
David Hilliard, a founding member and chief of staff of the now-defunct Black Panther Party, will discuss his new book on the Black Panthers and its leader, Huey P. Newton. The author, who has taught at several colleges and now lectures throughout the country, will speak at noon, Feb. 11, at the Tempe campus University Club and at 4:30 p.m. that same day at the Downtown Phoenix campus’ Residential Commons. He also will appear at noon, Feb. 12, at the Polytechnic campus’ Student Union ballroom.

A Prayer for Peace luncheon, featuring the Voices of Darfur, will take place at noon, Feb. 13, at the Polytechnic campus’ Student Union ballroom.