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Berks celebrates Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, the Penn State Berks Multicultural Center will hold several events in February and March 2011.

The movie The Great Debaters will be aired on Monday, Feb. 21, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room, followed by a discussion. The Great Debaters is a drama based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College in Texas. In 1935, he inspired students to form the college’s first debate team, which went on to challenge Harvard University in a national championship. The film is directed by Denzel Washington and stars Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Kimberly Elise. Students, faculty and staff are invited to this event.

Students will travel to see the Alvin Ailey Dancers at the Academy of Music on Sunday, Feb. 27. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater grew from a now-fabled performance in March 1958, at the 92nd Street Young Men's Hebrew Association in New York. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater has performed for an estimated 23 million people in 48 states, and in 71 countries on 6 continents, including two historic residencies in South Africa.

Finally, Frank Gilyard, Director of the Central Pennsylvania African American Museum (CPAAM) will give a presentation titled “The History and Importance of African American Churches” on Thursday, March 3, at 1 p.m. in room 120 of the Perkins Student Center. The site of CPAAM is the Old Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is the oldest African American-owned church building in Reading and Berks County, a registered landmark, and a stop on the Underground Railroad.

For more information, contact Karen Kihurani, Coordinator of Multicultural Programs, at 610-396-6080 or via e-mail KEK5@psu.edu.
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