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African American History Month 2015 at RCC


DATE: January 7, 2015

CONTACT: Maralin Roffino




African American History Month Events 2015

all events except Awards Ceremony are free and open to the public

Ramapo- Rockland Community College’s celebration of African American History Month offers a wide range of exciting events that are free and open to the public. Highlights include provocative films, participatory workshops, entertaining multimedia presentations, and inspiring guests. There is a special focus this year on exploring the contributions and challenges of people of color serving in the US military throughout our American history.

From Sundance Film Festival winner Dear White People, to the offbeat documentary Salty Dog Blues; from fashion designers and artists to presentations highlighting the contributions of African Americans serving this country’s military; from delighting the senses with African American cuisine and a workshop on African dance and drums, to honoring the towering achievements of A. Philip Randolph, it’s all happening at RCC’s AAHM celebration this year.

Guest speakers include RCC alumnus and Naval War College professor, Captain Charles L. Stuppard, (previously Chief, US Naval Forces Division, Saudi Arabia); the Chief Executive Officer of Prudential Group Insurance, Lori Dickerson Fouché, who is included in Fortune’s list of “Most Powerful Women,” and named one of the “100 Most Powerful Executives,” by Black Enterprise magazine; the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and celebrated author Khalil Gibran Muhammad; and inspirational author Valerie Irick Rainford speaking about her journey from “projects to podium.”

Tuesday, February 3 (snow date February 10)
Wednesday, February 4 (snow date February 11)
Awards Ceremony: Black Achievement Awards 2015
Cultural Arts Theater from 7:00 – 9:00 pm
(By invitation only)

Celebrating academic achievement, outstanding participation and accomplishment of local children of color in community service, artistic expression, athletics, leadership and personal triumph. Lori Dickerson Fouché, chief executive officer of Prudential Group Insurance is the keynote speaker on February 3. Captain Charles Stuppard, PhD, USN, currently strategic leadership instructor at the US Naval War College and RCC alumnus, will speak on February 4.

Thursday, February 5
Lecture and Demonstration: Exploring the Hidden History of Nourishing a Nation
Student Union – (room 3114) from noon – 2:00 pm
Dr, Sherrill Wilson speaks about the historical roots of African American cuisine. Small samples prepared by students in RCC’s Hospitality program will be provided.

Tuesday, February 10
Lecture and Book Discussion: The Condemnation of Blackness – with Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Technology Center – Ellipse (room 8180) from 1:30 – 2:45 pm
A reception and book signing will follow upstairs in room 8349 from 3:00 – 4:15 pm.
Dr. Muhammad is the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and author of the award-winning book, The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America.

Tuesday, February 17 (snow date February 24)
Film Documentary: Salty Dog Blues
Technology Center – Ellipse (room 8180) from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
An intelligent off the-beaten-path slice of military history by filmmaker Al Santana and producer Denise B. Santiago, this engaging documentary focuses on the experiences of African American and Puerto Rican men and women serving in the US Merchant Marine circa 1930s to 1980s.

Wednesday, February 18
Book Discussion: Against Wind and Tide: The African American Struggle Against the Colonization Movement
Technology Center (room 8322) from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Prof. Nathanial Williams leads discussion of Ousmane Power-Greene’s recent publication about 19th century African American responses to colonization.

Thursday, February 19
Symposium: “Dressed to Kill": Fashion, Finesse, and the Art of Chic
Technology Center – Ellipse (room 8180) from 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Professionals in the fashion industry will talk about their career paths, their designs, and their inspirations.

Thursday, February 19 (snow date February 26)
Experiential Workshop: Dance and Drumming of West Africa with Chiku Awali African Dance, Art and Culture Inc.
Student Union (room 3114) from noon – 1:30 pm
Drum and dance workshop includes a brief warmup and instruction from noted African dance pieces (such as Lamban or Sinte). Bring your own drums if you can as there are a limited number available for participants. All are welcome to come and enjoy the dancing and music.

Thursday, February 19
Film: Dear White People
Technology Center – Ellipse (room 8180) from 7:30 – 9:00 pm
A witty and satirical view of contemporary race relations on campus, the film premiered at the 2014 Sundance Festival where it won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent. Written and directed by Justin Simien, the story is presented through the eyes of four main characters, African American students attending the fictional predominantly white Ivy League school - Winchester University.

Monday, February 23
Discussion: The Life and Legacy of A. Philip Randolph
Technology Center (room 8322) from 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Dr. David Lucander leads a discussion of legendary African American civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph (1889 - 1979). Organizer of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (founded in 1925 as a predominantly African American labor union), Randolph was a major leader in the labor as well as the civil rights movement. Among his many achievements are negotiations that resulted in President Truman’s Executive Order of 1948 ending segregation in the US armed forces. Randolph also led the March on Washington in 1963 at which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered the powerful, “I Have a Dream,” speech.

Wednesday, February 25 (snow date March 4)
Multimedia Presentation: "I, Too, Sing America: The Contributions and Challenges of African Americans in the US Military" Part 1 (American Revolution to WWII)
Cultural Arts Theater at 7:00 pm
Music, dance, storytelling and dramatic performances interspersed with archival film footage accompanied by compelling video commentary from General Colin Powell and others. This program celebrates the contributions of African Americans in the US military and their determination and pride in serving their country.

Thursday, February 26
Panel Discussion: "I Dream A World: Diversity in Comic Books, Graphic Novels & Video Games"
Technology Center – Ellipse (room 8180) from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
A panel discussion featuring authors, artists and designers who will share their insights. Book-signing to follow.

Friday, February 27 (snow date March 27)
Lecture and Discussion: Until the Brighter Tomorrow: One Woman’s Courageous Climb from the Projects to the Podium with author Valerie Irick Rainford.
Student Union (room 3214) lecture, 10:00 am – noon. Discussion and book signing, noon – 1:00 pm.
The child of southern sharecroppers, Rainford speaks about her life’s journey inspired by her faith that with tenacity and trust in oneself, anything is possible.

Ongoing African American Heritage Events
Photography Exhibit: January 31 - February 28: “I, Too, Sing America: The Contributions and Challenges of African Americans in the US Military,” Technology Center – 2nd floor Rotunda.
Soul Food: February 3, 10, 17, 24: Soul Food Tuesdays at the RCC Cafeteria from noon – 3:00 pm