Performances, lectures highlight Black History Month at UVa-Wise
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise will celebrate Black History Month with several events throughout February.
The activities begin on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. in the Chapel of All Faiths when the Highland Singers perform “Precious Lord,” an arrangement written for the memorial of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Wise Guys low brass ensemble will also perform. David Volk will perform a piano arrangement of spirituals.
On Feb. 10 at 7 p.m., Jeffrey Ruggles will perform “Henry Box Brown: Famous Fugitive, Trans-Atlantic Performer” in the Chapel of All Faiths. Sponsored by Pro-Art.
Gretchen Martin, assistant professor of English, will present her lecture, “Deadly Benevolences in Faulkner and Morrison,” on Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. in the C. Bascom Slemp Student Center.
In the lecture, Martin will examine the ways in which Toni Morrison in her novel “Beloved,” and William Faulkner in his short story “Dry September,” expose the violence and injustices resulting from “benevolent” discourses that were used to rationalize and reinforce racism throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century.
Morrison not only demonstrates the denial of black identity as a result of enslavement, but the denial of black Americans’ full humanity from the northern abolitionist perspective as well. During the post-Reconstruction period, the rhetoric of race shifted into a rally cry for the defense and protection of southern white womanhood, which served to justify the murder of black men, yet also vulnerable were whites that openly challenged this deadly discourse, as Faulkner shows in his compelling story. Both authors ultimately expose the hypocrisy and brutality embedded in white America’s allegedly “benevolent” racial discourses.
On Feb. 17, A Pro-Art performance by musical group Plunky & Oneness will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Cantrell Banquet Hall.
J. Plunky Branch and his group have opened shows for Patti Labelle, Ray Charles, Earth Wind & Fire, LL Cool J and others.
Black History Month activities conclude with a trivia game on Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. in the C. Bascom Slemp Student Center. Participants may test their knowledge and skills with host Carolyn Smith.
Students will receive cultural credit for attending Black History Month presentations.
For more information, contact Sandra Jones at 276-328-0129 or Pro-Art Association at 376-1083.