Black Arts, revisted.
Black History Month at Oberlin is a mechanism by which many of our community members have become enlightened by the history, politics, and economics of the African diaspora. Over the years, the celebration has extended into the arts, literature, and performance aesthetics that make the Oberlin experience much more enriching than what occurs at many other colleges and universities.
Oberlin students, the Africana studies department, Afrikan Heritage House, and the Multicultural Resource Center have worked together for years to make this celebration a meaningful program. Together they seek to stimulate dialogue and engage the Oberlin community through academic, cultural, and social events that celebrate the history, legacy, and future of the African diaspora.
Black Arts, revisited.
"The arts and humanities define who we are as a people. That is their power -- to remind us of what we each have to offer, and what we all have in common. To help us understand our history and imagine our future. To give us hope in the moments of struggle and to bring us together when nothing else will.”
— First Lady Michelle Obama, honorary chair
br> President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Oberlin College's 2013 Black History Celebration, Black Arts, revisited., aims to remind us of the power of the arts throughout history to increase awareness and understanding, to honor innovation and talent, and to bring disparate people and cultures together when institutions, beliefs, traditions, and public policies cannot.
Helping to bring for this theme to the fore are noted educators, artists, activists, writers, classically trained musicians, performance artists, and more. Programs take place from February 7 to March 10.
Among the highlights is An Evening in the Harlem Renaissance featuring lyric soprano Adrienne Danrich on February 9 at 6:30 p.m. in Kulas Recital Hall. Danrich will lead the audience on a journey through the sights and sounds of the Harlem Renaissance in this performance chronicling one of the most exciting times for African American writers, singers, and composers. The program includes pictures and songs of the 1920s through the early 1940s, and highlights the music of Billie Holiday, Margaret Bonds, Harold Arlen, and George Gershwin, among others.
Fred Moten, Duke University associate professor of English, African and African American studies and the Helen L. Bevington Professor of Modern Poetry, writes and teaches about the intersection of black studies, performance studies, poetry, and critical theory. He is the author of B. Jenkins (Duke University Press, 2010), among others. He will read select poems and other works on February 13 at 7:30 p.m. at Afrikan Heritage House.
Aisha Cousins, a multimedia performance artist based in Brooklyn, New York, will perform February 19 at 8 p.m. in Afrikan Heritage House. She has received several grants and has been commissioned to write performance art scores. Her work has been performed outdoors in historically black neighborhoods and inside such institutions as the Brooklyn Museum of Art.
On February 28, Canadian Marlene NourbeSe Philip, a poet, essayist, novelist, playwright, and short story writer will give a performance in the college’s Cat in the Cream Coffeehouse called “Where the Archive of the Ocean Meets the Archive of Silence.” The program begins at 8 p.m.
Other forms of art will be on display throughout the month, including dance, lectures, art and photography exhibits, short films, and community discussions. Black History Month events will conclude on March 10 with the traditional closing dinner in Afrikan Heritage House.