Home Creative writing Series of events to mark Black History Month at the University of Alabama

Series of events to mark Black History Month at the University of Alabama


Virtual talks featuring Alabama’s first black Poet Laureate and the sister of one of four little girls killed in a Birmingham church bombing highlight some of the activities planned to mark the Month of black history at the University of Alabama.

Here is an overview of what is planned:

• Lisa McNair, older sister of Denise McNair, will deliver the keynote address for UA’s Black History Month at 6 p.m. on February 15. Registration is required at eventbrite.com.

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Denise McNair died on September 15, 1963, in a bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and Lisa McNair became a national speaker with her own company, Speak Lisa. Lisa McNair will tell the story of Denise’s life and the effects of her sister’s death on her family and the city of Birmingham. It will also address reconciliation, social justice and conflict resolution.

The four girls who were killed on September 19, 1963, when a bomb was thrown at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, were, from left, 11-year-old Denise McNair;  Carole Robertson, 14;  Addie Mae Collins, 14;  and Cynthia Dianne Wesley, 14, in 1963, file photos. [AP Photo/File]

From February 21 to March 19, the Center for Cross-Cultural Diversity at the UA Student Center, 751 Campus Drive West, will host an exhibit of Denise McNair’s personal items. The exhibition is made possible through a partnership with the Civil Rights Institute of Birmingham and the AU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division. For more information, email [email protected]

Ashley M. Jonesthe Alabama Poet Laureate will discuss creative writing and its importance at 6 p.m. Feb. 22. Registration for Jones’ speech is also required at eventbrite.com.

Jones, a Birmingham native, teaches in the creative writing department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and is on the faculty of the MFA program at Converse College Low Residency.

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• UA will host two virtual TEDTalk Tuesdays, “Why Your Doctor Should Care About Social Justice” and “The Problem of Race-Based Medicine” in February.

From noon to 1 p.m. on February 8, Mary Bassett will discuss her direct experience with the AIDS epidemic, the structural inequalities in global political and economic organizations, and the inequalities that make marginalized people more vulnerable. A link to Bassett’s speech is at www.ted.com/talks.

And from noon to 1 p.m. on February 15, Dorothy Roberts, civil rights sociologist and law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss how doctors still use race as a medical shortcut, how doctors make important decisions like tolerance to pain based on a patient’s skin color. and how to end race-based medicine.

• At noon on February 9, the AU Student Center Center for Cross-Cultural Diversity will host “Food for Thought: Those Who Lead the Way”. Attendees will hear from some of AU’s pioneers who will describe their accomplishments and offer insight into navigating enterprise spaces. Registration is available at eventbrite.com.

The University of Alabama unveiled a historical marker honoring Autherine Lucy Foster, the first black student admitted to an all-white college in Alabama on Friday, September 15, 2017. Foster receives a hug from University of Alecea Watkins senior Alabama, as students line up to meet her. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

• Beginning at 9 a.m. on February 16, a campus tour will focus on Autherine Lucia, who in 1956 became the first black student to enroll at UA. The tour will be hosted by Meredith Bagley, Associate Professor in the UA Department of Communication Studies, from the Malone-Hood Plaza at Foster Auditorium.

• UA will host a virtual screening of the film “Agents of Change” at 7 p.m. on February 18. The film deals with racial conditions on college campuses across the United States in the late 1960s, focusing on student demands at two seminal protests: San Francisco State in 1968 and Cornell University in 1969. Join you at eventbrite.com.

Earlier this month, UA hosted Black History Month lectures by historian Lee Sentell and educator Arthur Dunning, in addition to a Black Scholars Bowl and Wakanda Scholarship Ball.

Contact Ken Roberts at [email protected].