A full slate of events is scheduled over the next four weeks as California State University, Chico commemorates Black History Month, a national celebration of black culture, art and achievements. This year’s theme is “The Marathon Continues,” and all events take place at and around the University.
The schedule kicks off Thursday, Feb. 6, with a free screening of the film “Harriet,” the story of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and her transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. The film starts at 7:30 p.m. in Bell Memorial Union (BMU), Room 210.
Two free events take place Friday, Feb. 7. As a signature performance each year, the Celebration Gospel Choir will present “For Every Mountain—A Celebration of the Black Gospel Music” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, Room 134. Additionally, food, games and live music will be part of Mardi Gras 2020, happening in Sutter Courtyard from 4 to 7 p.m.
In the first installment of this spring’s lineup of Conversations on Diversity and Inclusion, writer, bioethicist and filmmaker September Williams will present “When We Are Asked: About Crossing Over,” a discussion on how to talk about death and dying. Williams will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 12, from noon to 1 p.m. in BMU 210.
Fine art, performances, fashion and photography will all be on display at the X-pressions Art Gala on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 8 to 10:30 p.m. at the 1078 Gallery at 1710 Park Ave. Tickets are available for presale for $10, $15 during the week of the event and $20 at the door. Marqia Smith of Just Unity Sistas (JustUS) said the gala is a time for students to explore art from black artists—from poetry, songs and dancing to paintings, digital work and statues.
“In America, all we have is art. Art is a way of telling our story, and it’s the way our ancestors told us their stories,” Smith said. “We take the struggle and turn it into something beautiful.”
Producer and musical director Damien Sneed will present “We Shall Overcome—A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,” on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Laxson Auditorium. Showcasing a wide-ranging repertoire across African American music traditions, Sneed will weave spoken word from King’s recorded speeches with music. Ticket information is available at the Chico Performances website.
Rounding out this month’s events is “A Prolific Dedication: Slam Edition” on Thursday, Feb. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at The Hub.
Sponsors of this year’s Black History Month events include AS Productions, Celebration Gospel Choir of Chico, Chico Performances, The Hub, Just Unity Sistas, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Those who require an accommodation in order to attend any of the Black History Month events or who have questions about accessibility may contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.