UAlbany Celebrates Black
By Lisa James Goldsberry
In observance of Black History Month in February, UAlbany
has invited Frank Pogue, founder of the Martin Luther King Luncheon, to
be the keynote speaker at the 21st annual luncheon at noon, February 17,
in the Campus Center Ballroom.
Pogue, now president of Edinboro University in Pennsylvania,
was formerly an associate professor of African/Afro-American studies at
UAlbany. He worked in the SUNY system for 23 years, most recently for SUNY
Central Administration as vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Special
“We extend a hearty welcome to Frank Pogue on his
visit to his UAlbany family,” said James P. Doellefeld, vice president
for Student Affairs. “A leader of vision and principle, he made a difference.”
Doellefeld said, “Black History Month is an opportunity
to celebrate the achievements and contributions of African Americans to
this country and the world as well as to pause and to remember the sacrifices
and struggles of people of African descent.”
UAlbany's month-long celebration began Feb. 1 with
the Department of Africana Studies' lecture on “Brown vs. the Topeka, Kansas,
Board of Education: Its Implications Beyond 2000” by Gerald Patton, director
of the New York State Department of Education.
On Thursday, Feb. 3 at 4:30 p.m., Africana Studies
will present a “Colloquy on the Black Family” by department professors
Marcia Sutherland and Sharon Parkinson, in Humanities 039. “Black History
Month is a perfect time to reflect on struggles and achievements and treat
them in such a manner as to give meaning and perspective, clarity and insights,
and balance and proportion to the total African American experience,” said
Leonard A. Slade Jr., professor of Africana Studies.
For music lovers, the Department of Africana Studies
will host a concert by the Black Apostolate Choir on Friday, Feb. 4, at
7 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center. The choir is
from St. George's Catholic Church in Albany. The cost to attend is $2.
A Diversity Topics Film Series, held on Thursdays
at noon in Campus Center 370, kicks off on Thursday, Feb. 10, with The
Essential Blue-Eyed. The film will offer an opportunity to experience a
full-length workshop with Jane Elliott, one of America's most celebrated
diversity trainers. Her blue-eyed/brown-eyed exercise, recognized as a
groundbreaking experiment in anti-racism training, has been featured on
Today, The Tonight Show, and Oprah. Sue Faerman, dean of Undergraduate
Studies, and Carl Martin, assistant vice president for Student Affairs,
will be facilitators.
This film series is for those who want to learn
more about how prejudice impacts both individuals and society and what
each of us can do to make a difference. It is co-sponsored by the Department
of Student Life, the Division of Student Affairs, the campus affiliate
of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), Academic Support Services,
Women's Studies, and the Department of Africana Studies.
Students are also planning events to celebrate Black
History Month. The Albany State University Black Alliance (ASUBA) will
host a two-day Hip Hop and Black Arts Conference from Friday, Feb. 11 to
Sunday, Feb. 13. The conference will address the significant impact that
hip-hop and black arts culture have on the lives of our youth. Among the
highlights are: Professor Griff and Chuck D from the rap group Public Enemy,
live jazz music, and Universal Poetics. There will be workshops on topics
such as “The Origin of Hip Hop,” and “The Media and its Stereotyping of
On Tuesday, Feb. 15, Lillian Williams, a professor
in the Department of Women's Studies, will read from her new book, Strangers
in the Land of Paradise: The Creation of an African-American Community
in Buffalo, New York, 1900-1940. The reading, sponsored by Africana Studies,
will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Humanities 039.
Allen Ballard, professor of Africana Studies and history, and Joyce
DeWitt Parker, a staff psychologist with the University Counseling Center,
will be guest facilitators for the second film series showing, A Question
of Color, on Wednesday, Feb. 16. This is the first documentary to confront
the dynamic at work for some African Americans who harbor negative feelings
about themselves and their appearance.
The third film series feature, on Thursday, Feb.
24, will be Skin Deep, which chronicles the eye-opening journey of a diverse
and divided group of college students as they explore their prejudices,
acknowledge past hurts, and try to understand each other's racial attitudes.
Carson Carr, associate dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Vivien Ng, chair
of the Women's Studies Department, will serve as guest facilitators.
The film series will conclude with Prejudice: The
Monster Within, on March 2. The video will address many troubling questions,
including why prejudice has always been with us, how we can identify it
in ourselves, and how we can work to end it. Guest facilitators will be
Nancy Belowich-Negron, director of the Office of Disabled Student Services
and chair of the campus affiliate chapter of NCBI, and Anthony Torres,
director of Multicultural Student Services.