Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Films, Speakers Highlight A&M-Kingsville Celebration Of Black Heritage Month

KINGSVILLE - January 31, 2008

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

The Black Heritage Celebration Awareness Committee at Texas A&M University-Kingsville has a full slate of events to celebrate Black Heritage Month. The schedule features several documentaries as Brown Bag Luncheons, a mini health fair, movies and a talent show.

The highlight of the month is the annual Black Heritage Celebration Banquet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, in ballroom A of the Memorial Student Union Building. This year’s keynote speaker is Bruce King, who is currently working at University of South Dakota as its first Chief Diversity Officer and Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs. He has devoted his entire career to the issues and challenges of providing access to education to all who seek the opportunity.

King is a native of Chicago’s Southside and a product of the Chicago Public School System. He attended the Iowa State University and did his graduate work in marriage and family therapy at the University of Iowa. His career has taken him from small liberal arts colleges to public school systems to large research universities.

He will share an inspirational message of how he manages life and how each person, no matter the color, class or conditions, can find reasons to celebrate and keep the dream alive.

Tickets for the banquet will be $10 each and will be available at the information desk in the lobby of the MSUB.

Another big event during Black Heritage Month is a Mini Health Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, in the lobby of the MSUB. The Mini Health Fair, co-sponsored by Life Services and Wellness, will offer diabetes screening, blood pressure checks, stress testing and healthy options diet planning.

Black Heritage Month activities will feature two current films. American Gangster will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in room 219C of the MSUB and The Great Debaters will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, March 28, in the ballrooms of the MSUB. American Gangsters stars Denzel Washington as an inner city crime boss and Russell Crowe as the police officer who investigates. The Great Debaters also stars Washington as Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College in Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the school’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard in the national championship.

A talent show will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in ballroom A of the MSUB. Psi Theta will host the event.

A series of documentaries will be shown with discussion following. A Brown Bag Luncheon featuring the film Buffalo Soldiers will be held at noon Wednesday, Feb. 6, in room 219AB of the MSUB. This film provides a photographic history of the two black cavalry regiments that served to keep peace on the frontier from 1867 to 1891.

The showing of this documentary coincides with South Texas Ranching Heritage Days Feb. 4-9 at the John E. Conner Museum. That event will feature John Jones, representing the Buffalo Soldiers Living History and Heritage Association. He will be in period costume, to talk about the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in United States history. They help give a reflection of every day items that were utilized during a routine workday in the early days of the Old West.

A second documentary, Two Towns of Jasper, will be shown at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, in room 221AB of the MSUB. This film is about the trials of three men implicated in the murder of James Byrd Jr. Black townspeople were filmed and interviewed by a black crew while a white crew interviewed white citizens.

The next documentary will be shown as a Brown Bag Luncheon at noon Monday, Feb. 18, in room 219AB of the MSUB. The film, Ethnic Notions, will be shown and discussed. Ethnic Notions is an Emmy-winning documentary covering 150 years of public representations of blacks in American cartoons, feature films, popular songs, minstrel shows, advertisements and more.

The final Brown Bag Luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, in room 221AB of the MSUB. Little Rock Central High: 50 Years Later will be shown and discussed. This documentary is about the first major challenge to segregated education in the United States.

For more information on these events, call 361-593-2760.

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