Rev. Jesse Jackson headlines Black History Month on campus

Rev. Jesse Jackson
Rev. Jesse Jackson

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, famed civil rights activist and two-time presidential candidate, will visit BGSU Jan. 25 as part of the University’s “Celebrating Our Heritage” commemoration of Black History Month.

In an address titled “Honoring His Dream . . . Making It Our Reality,” Jackson, who began his leadership in the civil rights movement as an assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, will discuss the late civil rights leader at 7 p.m. that evening in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.

Admission to Jackson’s talk is free, but tickets are required and will be available beginning Jan. 16 at the Information Center in the union.

Jackson is the founder of numerous organizations aimed at bringing racial and gender equality and economic and social justice to the nation, including the Rainbow Coalition and People United to Save Humanity (now merged into the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition). His advocacy helped bring international issues such as apartheid in South Africa and the fight for democracy in Haiti to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness.

He has served as an international diplomat on several occasions, securing the release of captured Navy lieutenant Robert Goodman in Syria in 1984. He was the first American to bring freed hostages out of Kuwait and Iraq in 1990, and in 1997 was appointed by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as Special Envoy of the President and Secretary of State for the Promotion of Democracy in Africa.

The author of two books, Keep Hope Alive and Straight from the Heart, Jackson is host of “Both Sides with Jesse Jackson” on CNN. His BGSU visit is sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Committee.

The University will also remember Dr. King with a unity march from the union to Olscamp Hall beginning at 4 p.m. Jan. 21, followed by a reception from 5-7 p.m. in 101 Olscamp.

Also this month, the Gospel Choir will hold the fourth annual Gospel Fest at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 and 20 in the ballroom. The cost for the Friday evening performance is $7 for students and $10 for nonstudents; Saturday’s tickets are $10 for students and $20 for nonstudents. Tickets for the entire weekend are $15 for students and $25 for nonstudents.

In addition, a special exhibit, “From Slavery to Freedom: The Story of Africans in America,” will be shown on the first floor of Jerome Library beginning Jan. 23, sponsored by University Libraries.

‘Celebrating Our Heritage’ events
February, Black History Month, begins with a kickoff luncheon from noon-3 p.m. Feb. 3 in 202A Union. Sponsored by the Black Student Union, reservations for the event can be made by calling the BSU office at 2-2692

Commons Dining Center will host a Black History Month brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 5, and Founders Food Court will hold an African-American Heritage Luncheon at the same time Feb. 27.

The fifth annual Black Issues Conference, “Lifting as We Climb,” will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 3 in 101 Olscamp Hall. The conference will feature Dr. Elaine Richardson, associate professor of English and applied linguistics at Pennsylvania State University, along with other presentations by students and faculty. For more information, call the Center for Multicultural and Academic Initiatives (CMAI) at 2-2642.

Dr. Angela Nelson, chair of the popular culture department, will present “Mapping the Study of Black Popular Culture” at 11 a.m. Feb. 15 in the Pallister Conference Room in Jerome Library. Nelson will look at the work and influence of pioneering black writer, scholar and activist W.E.B. Dubois and trace the history of scholarship in the field.

“Lost Boys of the Sudan,” a documentary film, will be screened at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Union Theater, with an introduction by Dr. Awad Ibrahim, educational foundations and inquiry. The showing is sponsored by the University Libraries and the group Human Values for Transformative Action.

The campus will celebrate the musical and political legacy of famed reggae singer Bob Marley in a Feb. 22 tribute event beginning with a documentary film and discussion about Marley from 4-7 p.m. in 207 Union, followed by a reception from 7 p.m. to midnight in the Black Swamp Pub.

The annual CMAI dinner theatre will be held Feb. 23 and 24 in the ballroom. Tickets to the Friday performance of “The 90s, Part 2” are $12 and include light refreshments. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show at 8 p.m. The Saturday performance costs $20 and includes a cash bar and buffet. Doors open at 6 p.m., followed by the show at 7 p.m. Individual tickets can be purchased at the Information Center in the union; table reservations can be made at the center at 2-2642.

Events continue into March, including a visit from Keith Beauchamp, director and producer of “The Untold Story of Emmett Till,” March 29 and 30. The times and locations will be announced.

Events are subject to change. For more information, call the CMAI at 2-2642.

January 8, 2007