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Feb. 5: Carnegie Mellon Hosts Black History Month Events


Abby Houck                        

Carnegie Mellon Hosts Black History Month Events

AustinPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University will celebrate Black History Month with a gospel concert, art exhibits and lectures on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to Afro-Brazilian civil rights movements. This year's planning committee chose the theme "Redefined" to expand understanding of African American culture and black history on a global scale.
"We are excited to have Jeff Chang, an Asian-American scholar and expert on hip-hop culture," said M. Shernell Smith, coordinator of student development. "The hip-hop culture is often viewed as synonymous with black culture; however, Mr. Chang will be able to speak about how this subculture continues to influence overall American culture every day."
Chang, an award-winning writer, founding editor of ColorLines Magazine and former senior editor at Russell Simmons', will speak on campus about the history of rap and hip-hop at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10 in the Adamson Wing, Baker Hall.
The month-long celebration is sponsored in part by Carnegie Mellon's Division of Students Affairs and through a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. All events are open to the public, except where noted. Contact M. Shernell Smith at 412-268-2075 or for more information about the following Black History Month events.

Schedule of Events

University Libraries Black History Month Display
Hunt Library
Event ongoing throughout February.

Black American Music Past and Present
7-11 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5
The Underground, Morewood Gardens
Sponsored by SPIRIT Black Awareness Committee with DJ Gemz.

Black History Month Featured Speaker and Black Caucus Reception
Keynote address and Focus the Nation concert by Yewande Austin
4:30-6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 6
Rangos Ballroom, University Center
RSVP required to: or 412-268-2075.
Hosted by the Black Graduate Student Organization (BGSO), National Society of Black Engineers, SPIRIT, Black Business Association, IMPACT and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Yewande Austin is president and founder of the Change Rock Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to producing multicultural and empowerment programs. Austin previously owned Lotus Records and held posts at Independent Marketing and HBO. She studied music at Howard University and Carnegie Mellon. Austin is currently pursuing a joint M.A./Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at the University of Sheffield in England. For more information, visit

Black History Month Gallery Show Opening and Reception
4:30-6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 9
Art Gallery, University Center
College of Fine Arts student Adrienne Wilson will showcase her photography Feb. 9-14.

History of Rap and Hip-Hop Lecture with Jeff Chang

4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall
Hosted by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the English Department and the Graduate Student Assembly.

Jeff Chang, an award-winning writer, was a founding editor of ColorLines magazine and a senior editor/director at Russell Simmons' In 1993, he co-founded and ran the influential hip-hop indie label, SoleSides, now Quannum Projects. An organizer of the National Hip-Hop Convention, Chang served as a board member for several organizations working for change through youth and community organizing, media justice, culture, the arts and hip-hop activism. For more information, visit

Carnegie Mellon Jazz Ensembles Concert with Jeff "Tain" Watts
Emcee: Bill Hillgrove, voice of the Pittsburgh Steelers
7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 11
Carnegie Music Hall, 4400 Forbes Ave., Oakland
Hosted by the School of Music.
Tickets will be available at Carnegie Music Hall one hour prior to the concert.  Cost is $5 for general admission, $4 for senior citizens and free for university students with valid I.D. For more information, call the School of Music Concert Line at 412-268-2383.

Pittsburgh native Jeff "Tain" Watts is the only musician to appear on every Grammy Award-winning jazz record of both Branford and Wynton Marsalis.  This influential drummer is a former member of The Tonight Show Band and current leader of the Jeff "Tain" Watts Quartet. Watts initially majored in classical percussion at Duquesne University, followed by enrollment at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He also has worked as a musician and actor in film and television, including roles in Spike Lee's "Mo' Better Blues" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air."

Black History Month Featured Speaker: Panther Bior

12:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13
Rangos Ballroom, University Center
Hosted by Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment (FORGE) and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. Tickets are available at the University Center Information Desk or by contacting Lunch is provided.

Panther Bior is a Sudanese refugee featured in the documentary film "God Grew Tired of Us." This documentary is about the journey of young men across the hostile African terrain with the hopes of escaping death and the memories of their murdered families.
SPIRIT Fashion Show
8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 13
Weigand Gym, University Center

Gospel Concert: Redefined 2.0

6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 15
Rangos Ballroom, University Center
Hosted by Impact Movement and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Speak the Truth Exhibition

Sunday, Feb. 15-Friday, Feb. 20
Art Gallery, University Center

Workshop and Discussion on Entrepreneurship and Film with Tommy Oliver
4:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 16
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall
Hosted by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Tommy Oliver, a Carnegie Mellon graduate with a degree in digital media and economics, is the founder and director of photography of Black Squirrel Films.

Speak Your Mind Diversity Dinner and Discussion: Is inequality making us sick?
Featuring clips from the documentary "Unnatural Causes"
Facilitated by Amy Burkert
5-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 17
Hosted by the Minority Association of Pre-Health Students and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

In addition to her role as assistant dean of the Mellon College of Science and Education Initiatives, Burkert is the Health Professions Program advisor and a teaching professor in the Biology Department.

Racial Politics in a Racial Democracy: Afro-Brazilian Civil Rights Movements, 1945-present
CAUSE Lecture by George Reid Andrews
4:30-6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 20
Steinberg Auditorium, A53 Baker Hall

George Reid Andrews is the Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh.  He has published titles including "Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000;" Blacks and Whites in São Paulo, Brazil, 1888-1988;" and "The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900." He is currently writing a history of Afro-Uruguayan political and cultural movements from the mid-1800s to the present.

UC Late Night Event
University Center
9 p.m.-1 a.m., Friday, Feb. 20
Hosted by FORGE. This event is only open to Carnegie Mellon students.

The Renaissance: A Night of Expression through the Arts
Benefits the Jubilee Soup Kitchen
9 p.m.-12 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 21
The Underground, Morewood Gardens
Hosted by the BGSO.

Civil Rights Pioneers: Showcase of Commemorative U.S. Postal Stamps

4:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 23
Maggie Murph Café, Hunt Library
Hosted by the Pittsburgh District of the U.S. Postal Service, Carnegie Mellon University Libraries and Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.
Dessert reception follows showcase presentation.

Speak Your Mind Diversity Dinner and Discussion - Identity Theft: "Stereotypes"

Facilitated by Edda Fields-Black
5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 24
Danforth Lounge, University Center
Hosted by Speak Peace Inspire Change and Empower (SPICE), Morewood Gardens Special Interest House and the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Edda Fields-Black, an associate professor of history in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, is the author of the book "Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora."

Islam and the African American Community
Lecture by Arif Jamal, a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh Library System.
6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 25
Doherty Hall 1112
Hosted by the Muslim Students Association and SPIRIT.

Common Ground: Crossing Cultures Part 4 - Experiences in Africa
Featuring Rotimi Abimbola and Zenobia Bell, Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27
McKenna Room, University Center
Hosted by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs.

Black History Brain Bowl
7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27
Breed Hall, Margaret Morrison
Hosted by SPIRIT.


Pictured above is keynote speaker Yewande Austin.