Ubuntu: I am Because We Are
Black History Month at Oberlin has helped to foster greater awareness of the history, politics, culture, and economics of the African diaspora. Our celebration includes the arts, literature, and performance aesthetics that make the monthlong observance much more enriching.
This year's theme is Ubuntu, I am Because We Are. Our events, therefore, aim to express the unity, community togetherness, and continued struggle for recognition. The committee has organized a diversity of speakers, workshops, and other events to express our commitment to Ubuntu as a guiding principle and foundation for Africana communities.
Oberlin students, the Department of Africana Studies, Afrikan Heritage House, the Multicultural Resource Center, and other academic departments have worked together to make Black History Month at Oberlin a meaningful celebration.Together they seek to stimulate dialogue and engage the Oberlin community through academic, cultural, and social events that recognize the history, legacy, present, and future of the African diaspora.
Black History Month at Oberlin programming takes place from February 3 through March 3, at select venues throughout the Oberlin College campus and community.
Among the highlights:
Teach-in: (Re)Considering Audre Lorde
A group reading and discussion of Audre Lorde’s Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism.
5:30 p.m., February 7, Multicultural Resource Center, Wilder Hall 208
Oh! Freedom: Commemorating the Negro Spiritual and the Underground Railroad
Wesley Williams returns to Oberlin to present Oh! Freedom: Commemorating the Negro Spiritual and the Underground Railroad with musical accompaniment by performer H. LeArthur (H.L.) Wright II. Carefully selected prose narratives from historical scholars, poems from specific time periods, and spirituals that align with the text will give the audience the opportunity to commemorate the fusion of narrative and song to describe the evil, ugliness, and authentic beauty of this significant time in our nation's history.
7 p.m., February 11, First Church in Oberlin, UCC
Reimagining American Classical Theatre: The Glass Menagerie
Oscar-nominated actress Margaret Avery stars in Associate Professor of Theater Justin Emeka’s production of Tennessee Williams’ American classic, The Glass Menagerie. Emeka ’95 re-imagines the Wingfields as a black family in East St. Louis during the turbulence of the early 20th century struggling to define themselves within a cramped apartment and “glass menagerie.” Without changing the text, Emeka weaves black culture and music into the storytelling. While race informs the reality of the characters, the story remains about a man struggling to reconcile his guilt for having abandoned his sister and mother to pursue his dreams as a writer.
7 p.m., February 20, Cleveland Playhouse Square
The Value Gap in the Age of Trump: A Talk by Eddie Glaude Jr.
Eddie Glaude Jr. coined the term “value gap,” the “belief that white people matter more than others,” and how this mindset is entrenched within American values, practices, and systems. He is professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University, and chair of the Center for African American Studies. Glaude has written several books including Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul (2016).
7:30 p.m., February 23, Nancy Schrom Dye Lecture Hall, Science Center
Other Black History Month programs include plays, lectures, art exhibits, dance, poetry readings, and community discussions.