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January 30, 2006

Black History Month marked with performances, events

By Louise Donahue

Black History Month at UCSC will include a look back at America in the 1930s, courtesy of the African American Theater Troupe.

Illustration for the play,
Steal Away will be performed on campus and in Seaside.
Illustration: Jainai Jeffries

The troupe’s performances are just part of the celebration of Black History Month on campus, which includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Convocation (see related story), a dance performance, movie screenings, a photography exhibit, and career conference.

Steal Away, an incisive Depression-era comedy, will be performed in February and March, and is a presentation of the UCSC Theater Arts Department.

The farcical comedy, written by Ramona King, is set in Chicago, and follows five upstanding, God-fearing women endeavoring to provide scholarships for young black women residing in the community. When the group is flatly refused a bank loan on the grounds that “colored girls shouldn’t waste their time on education”—as the bank manager puts it—the friends devise an elaborate scheme to rob a bank.

The show will be performed in the Theater Arts Mainstage at 7 p.m. on February 24-25 and March 2-4, and at 3 p.m. on February 26 and March 5. Tickets are $13 for general admission, $9 for senior citizens, and $9 for students. On Sunday, February 26, those buying one full-priced ticket will get a free ticket.

The troupe will also perform one show off campus, at 7 p.m. on March 11, at the Oldemeyer Center in Seaside.

The African American Theater Arts Troupe, directed by Don Williams, is designed to foster unity between races, proving an outlet for the creative talents of African American artists, and encouraging the development of marked abilities through the awarding of annual scholarships.

Other Black History Month events include:

• The African contribution to another part of the Americas will be highlighted in a performance by Peru Negro, an Arts & Lectures event at 8 p.m. February 22. Appointed as “Ambassadors of Peruvian Culture” by their government, the Lima-based ensemble has helped bring major international attention to Peru’s African legacy.

• African American Night will be held from 8 to 10 p.m. February 28 in the College Eight Café.

• Oakes College will have an African American College Night from 5 to 7 p.m. February 23 in the College Eight/Oakes cafeteria, and a film series focusing on African American themes at 7 p.m. in the Guzman Room each Wednesday in February.

• “Portrait Photography in African Worlds, a two-day symposium, will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4 at the Alumni Room of the University Center. The symposium is sponsored by the Patricia & Rowland Rebele Chair in History of Art & Visual Culture.

• The Women’s Center and the sorority Delta Sigma Theta are cosponsoring a screening of Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed, a documentary about African American Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s run for president in 1972. The documentary will be aired at 6:30 p.m. February 9 at the Women’s Center.

• A conference for students of color planning to enter the health professions will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. February 11 at Merrill Dining Hall. Obstetrician-gynecologist LaDonna White will be the keynote speaker for the event, sponsored by Chicanos in Health Education and the Black Science Network.

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