Black History Month at Yale

Yale University will celebrate Black History Month all through February with films, readings, lectures, and concerts that are free and open to the public.

Yale University will celebrate Black History Month all through February with films, readings, lectures, and concerts that are free and open to the public.

A dramatic reading of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech” on Friday, Feb. 7, will kick off a series of noontime presentations sponsored by the University Library’s Human Resources Department. Other campus organizations have planned special events, including playreadings, film screenings, talks and performances.

University Library

The Yale Library’s Friday lunch series – titled “Wake the Dream!” – will open on Feb. 7. Clark Jackson, a student at the School of Drama, will read the historic speech that King delivered before the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington, D.C. for Civil Rights. Following the reading, there will be comments by the Reverend Bonita Grubbs, director of Christian Community Action, Inc. in New Haven. She will also lead an informal discussion on the theme, “How can we keep the dream alive … at home, at work, in our cities and towns?”

Other presentations in the series include:

Feb. 14 – Screening of “The Amistad,” a movie about the 1839 incident in which 50 Africans aboard the slave ship Amistad revolted and attempted to sail back to Sierra Leone, only to be captured and tried; to be followed by a discussion of the Amistad replication project at Mystic Seaport by Quentin Snediker, director of the project.

Feb. 21 – Screening of “Not Just a Good Time Sunday,” about a white woman who asks an African-American woman if she can learn to sing gospel music. The film focuses on the Salt & Pepper Gospel Singers, a New Haven-based interracial and nondenominational group, and features a performance by the Yale singing group, Shades. Prior to the film, Yale members of the Salt & Pepper Gospel Singers will discuss how they became involved with the group.

Feb. 28 – Performance by Shades, an interracial a capella Yale singing group that performs international contemporary and traditional music rooted in the experiences of the African-America diaspora. Raquell Cogell, librarian-in-residence at the Social Sciences Library, will present introductory remarks on the history of African-American gospel music.

All the presentations will take place noon-1:30 p.m. in the lecture hall of Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High St. Participants are invited to bring a lunch; cookies will be served.

Afro-American Cultural Center – AACC

“Echoes of the Future” is the theme of the Black History Month celebration at the Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park St. In addition to cosponsoring talks by Kathleen Cleaver, former member of the Black Panther Party, on Feb. 3, and by Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. surgeon general, on Feb. 4, the AACC is hosting the following events:

Feb. 4 – “Surviving Yale,” a panel of six Yale College seniors will look at topics ranging from study abroad to changing majors to applying to professional schools. 7:30 p.m. AACC.

Feb. 9 – Men’s Day. Sponsored by the Black Church at Yale. 11 a.m. AACC.

Feb. 11 – A talk about racial issues within the African diaspora by Florence Ladd, director of the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, the world’s largest multidisciplinary center of advanced studies for women, and author of the novel “Sarah’s Psalm.” 7 p.m., AACC.

Feb. 13 – A screening of “Skin Deep,” a film about race relations in America by Academy Award-nominated director Frances Reid. Following the screening, the director and two students from the film will lead a discussion. A reception will follow. 7 p.m. Sudler Hall, William L. Harkness Hall, 100 Wall St.

Feb. 14 – Women of the Calabash. 7 p.m. AACC.

Feb. 16 – Women’s Day. Sponsored by the Black Church at Yale. 11 a.m. AACC.

Divinity School

The Black Seminarians and the Yale Committee on Social Ministry are sponsoring events in honor of Black History Month, including a “Coats for Kids Campaign,” collecting coats for area youngsters. Coats, which should be clean, will be collected 11 a.m.-1 p.m. each Thursday during February in the Divinity School common room, 409 Prospect St.

Feb. 5 – Screening of “Eye on the Prize,” a documentary about the civil rights movement in America. 7 p.m. Great Hall, Institute of Sacred Music, 409 Prospect St.

Feb. 22 – A concert featuring the Genesis Gospel Choir of Kingsport, Tennessee. 6 p.m. Marquand Chapel.

Feb. 25 – Screening of the film “Imitation of Life.” 7 p.m., Great Hall, Institute of Sacred Music.

Feb. 28 – Script reading of James Baldwin’s drama, “The Amen Corner.” Sponsored by the Divinity School and the School of Drama. 5:30 p.m. Afro-American Cultural Center, 211 Park Street. Audience members are encouraged to bring a can of food for a local food bank.

Yale Cabaret

The Yale Cabaret will present readings of works by African-American playwrights each Sunday during February at 6 p.m. The readings will be followed by a reception. The Yale Cabaret is located at 217 Park St. For information, call 432-1566.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein:, 203-432-1325