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January 31, 2005

Black History Month events begin February 3

By Louise Donahue

“A Tribute to Black Music," lectures on the history of black organizing in Florida and on ways to strengthen Black History month celebrations, screening of a film about presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, and several performances by the African American Theater Arts Troupe highlight UCSC’s Black History Month events during February.

Photo: Troupe

Members of the African American Theater Arts Troupe are, from left, Dane Diamond Errisson, Stephanie Pot (Front) LaJoi Whitten, Wesley Adkins, Leilani Montes, David Scott, Carla St. Juste. Photo courtesy of the African American Theater Arts Troupe.

The musical tribute, a café night/open microphone event, will be held from 8:30 to 11 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, at the College Eight Cafe.

Participants are urged to “bring your voice, your music, or your spoken word” to the event, cosponsored by College Eight Programs, the African/Black Student Alliance, and AKA.

“Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920,” is the title of a noon lecture by community studies professor Paul Ortiz on Tuesday, February 15, at Baobab Lounge at Merrill College.

Sponsored by the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community, the free brown-bag lunchtime event is open to the campus community. Refreshments will be provided.

Sociology professor John Brown Childs will discuss ways to honor and strengthen the celebration of Black History Month during a free lecture for the campus community at noon on Thursday, February 10, in Room D of the Bay Tree Conference Center. Childs’s talk is part of the Diversity Lecture Series.

Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and later the first black person to seek a major party's nomination for president, is the subject of Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, to be shown February 24. Sponsored by the Women’s Center and The 51 Percent Project, the free showing will be held at 7 p.m. at Bay Tree Conference Room D.

The African American Theater Arts Troupe will perform Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms, centering on the impact of the drug subculture. Written by Ron Milner, the play touches on an array of issues, including homelessness and family ties. Urban Transitions demonstrates how the drug subculture has woven its way into mainstream culture, affecting lower-class as well as middle-class families.

Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms will be performed at the following locations:

• February 12-13: Cabrillo College, Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $11 for adults, $7 for students with ID.

• February 18-19: Louden Nelson Community Center; Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.

• February 26: Oldemeyer Community Center in Seaside, 8 p.m.

• March 4-6, UCSC Theater Arts, Experimental Theater, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m. Free for UCSC students with ID, $13 general admission; seniors and students, $9; UCSC faculty and staff, $2.

African American Theater Arts Troupe members come from a variety of backgrounds and majors. The troupe was formed in 1991 by Donald Williams as a vehicle to create unity, higher visibility, and understanding of African American culture. Williams has directed the troupe since its inception.

Additional information on the troupe is available by contacting Don Williams at (831) 459-3409, or

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