LEWISTON, Idaho – Lewis-Clark State College will celebrate Black History Experience virtually during a month of celebration, discussion and cultural learning in February.
All events are free and open to the public. The events can be viewed on the LC State Humanities YouTube page both live and at a later time.
The first event is Feb. 2 at noon and is part of the LC State Center for Student Leadership Series and TEDx, a grassroots initiative to research and discover ideas worth spreading. LC State associate professor of music Sarah Graham will discuss Ama Oforiwaa Adunonum’s play “Walking with My Ancestors.” Aduonum is a professor of ethnomusicology at Illinois State University and also starred in the leading role of her play, for which she won the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Association of Community Theatre. Her play depicts what her ancestors went through in slave dungeons in Ghana and Senegal.
On Feb. 3 at 7 p.m., there will be a virtual musical theater performance of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance. The work includes an actor and a trio of musicians (cello, piano and percussion) celebrating the lives of great African-American poets Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay as seen through the eyes of muralist and painter Aaron Douglas. The musical score includes works by Jazz greats Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus, as well as concert music by Jeffrey Mumford and George Walker.
Rasheeda Kabba, the weekend anchor for FOX8 in Greensboro, N.C., will virtually discuss “Creating Your Own Happiness in the Midst of a Pandemic: A Guide on How to Move Forward from 2020” on Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. Kabba was the first black news anchor at KLEW in Lewiston and left the station last May for the job in Greensboro. She is holds a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Oklahoma and has been a guest speaker on CNN Live and Al Jazeera America.
On Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m., LC State students Max Galeano and Emmanuel Kyei, both of Lewiston, will lead a virtual discussion on 8:46, a 2020 performance by American comedian Dave Chappelle. The performance discusses violence against African Americans and was released on YouTube on June 12 last summer. The performance features long stretches without humor and was critically acclaimed for both its comedy and social commentary.
The LC State Debate and Criminal Justice clubs will have a panel discussion virtually on police reform starting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18.
On Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. there will be a virtual screening of the documentary movie “Breaking the Silence: Lillian Smith.” Smith was one of the first white southern authors to crusade against segregation. She was born in 1897 to a wealthy family and spent most of her life in Georgia as a social justice crusader, speaking out against the cruelties of racism and segregation. The film is a documentary of her life by Atlanta filmmaker Hal Jacobs and his son Henry Jacobs.
Tai Simpson will give the Keynote address virtually on Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. on “My Joy Is The Revolution: Experiences as a Black Indigenous Storyteller in Social Movement Spaces.” Simpson is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and lives in Boise. She is a direct descendent of Chief Redheart. Her talk is an homage to a future without boundaries. Simpson explores storytelling to move powerfully and with intention in social movement spaces. She is both Nimiipuu and Black, both identities informing her work as an advocate, activist, and organizer. The rich tapestry of her history, intersectional identities, and work towards liberation are a celebration of her ancestors and a gift to her descendants.
Two other events are being included as part of the Black History Experience. The exhibit “City of Hope: Resurrection City & The 1968 Poor People’s Campaign” is on display Friday through March 12 at the LC State Center for Arts & History, located at 415 Main St. in Lewiston. The 18-poster exhibit honors the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for economic justice and opportunity for every U.S. citizen. The exhibit includes a series of recently discovered photographs and an array of protest signs and political buttons collected during the Poor People’s Campaign. The exhibit shows the historical significance of the campaign and how it still relates to today. The exhibit is by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, along with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Also, the YWCA Idaho is holding a 21 Day Racial Equity & Social Justice Challenge, designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with race, power, privilege and leadership. Challenges will include reading an article, listening to a podcast, reflecting on personal experience and more. Visit the YWCA Idaho website to learn more about the challenge.
In the past, the event has been called Black History Month, but the committee in charge changed the name this year.
The events are made possible through support from the Rosehill Estates and the LC State Humanities Division, and partnerships with the YWCA of Lewiston-Clarkston and the LC State Center for Teaching and Learning.