GODFREY – In honor of Black History Month, Lewis and Clark Community College will be hosting a diverse variety of events and activities in February. All are open to the public and free of charge, unless otherwise noted.
The month-long celebration will begin when the Mo Pleasure Band performs at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 3 in Reid Restaurant. Led by soloist Lavell Moore, this group of professional musicians will seamlessly perform decades of rhythm & blues, soul and Motown music.
Don’t miss the Underground Railroad Bus Tour at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4. Participants will explore some of the various locations throughout the Riverbend area, where slaves sought refuge as they escaped the South. Tour guide J. E. Robinson will provide the history and perspective of these noteworthy sites.
“The underground railroad tour was such a big hit last year we felt compelled to offer it again to the community,” said L&C Student Activities Coordinator Jared Hennings. “Various locations – homes, apartments, churches – where slaves gathered as they sought freedom are on the tour and it’s so interesting because you are transported to those circumstances back in history.
“Another major positive about the tour is the cost, because it’s free,” Hennings said. “The transportation to the locations is very comfortable, utilizing a roomy coach bus. I hope the community takes advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to call and reserve a spot.”
The tour lasts for about an hour and a half. Those wanting more information or to make reservations can call Hennings at (618) 468-6400.
Guests are invited to learn how to explore family trees during a free genealogy workshop at noon Wednesday, Feb. 5, in Trimpe 141. A representative from The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) staff will be available to provide clues on how to find family ancestral histories, veteran’s military service records and other historical information.
Associate Judge Ben Byers of the Madison County Circuit Court will present information pertaining to career success in the legal field and choosing law as a profession at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 11. Judge Byers will discuss his background as an example of a “how-to guide” in motivating students to strive for excellence.
Communications expert D.C. Cooper will highlight information on the value of becoming more proficient in public speaking at 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11 in Reid Memorial Library. Listeners will learn to develop skills that will help them become more confident and competent when speaking in formal and informal settings.
The Rocky Fork Church Exhibit will begin with an opening celebration from 6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Hatheway Cultural Center Gallery on L&C’s Godfrey campus.
The opening will feature guest speaker Mannie Jackson, who is an entrepreneur, influential African American leader and former Edwardsville resident. The program will begin at 7 p.m.
The exhibit, which will be open for viewing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Thursday, Feb. 13 to Friday, March 21, will feature a representation of Rocky Fork African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, which served as an Underground Railroad station for the community that survives today. The exhibit will showcase a combination of voices, imagery and historical artifacts, that allow a way of exploring the history of the region, while also examining the way in which that history is still relevant.
Pizza, poetry and music will be featured at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17 in the Underground Connection. Poet Louis Conphliction will present SpokenWord. R&B, hip-hop, jazz and funk music will also be featured.
Professor Johnny Lane, director of education for Remo, Inc., and one of the nation’s foremost college percussion educators, will present “Black Music and Culture” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 in Hatheway Cultural Center’s Ann Whitney Olin Theatre. On-stage seating will be available. Lane’s presentation will outline how integral culture and music are to the fabric of American society and how these contributions have shaped what we listen to throughout history and today.
Lewis and Clark employees Jared Hennings and Peter Hussey will perform music celebrating the diversity of African-American composers and vocalists with the Jared Hennings Band at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at the Jacoby Arts Center. Musical styles featured will be spirituals, ragtime, blues, swing and jazz, focusing on artists including Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Bill Withers, the Temptations and Sam Cooke. The band will include Marty Johnson on piano, Eric Johnson on bass, Hussey on drums and Hennings on vocals. Admission costs $10.
The Charles Drew Blood Drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24, in The Commons. The blood drive is devoted to fighting sickle cell anemia. Both students and community residents are encouraged to donate.
The Spirit of Angela Dance Troupe will perform at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Reid Café. The interactive dance performance will feature traditional West African drumming and artifacts. Students are encouraged to participate and learn various dance techniques.
L&C’s Black History Month activities will conclude with a performance from the SIUE Black Theatre Workshop at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 in the Benjamin Godfrey Chapel. The Black Theatre Workshop is an annual performance event that celebrates the voices and visions of SIUE's diverse student population. This year's production "And the Verdict Is...: A Campus Response to the Trayvon Martin Case," will feature original poetry, monologues, scenes, songs and dance pieces that speak to the issue of social justice.
Those wanting more information about L&C’s Black History Month Calendar can contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (618) 468-6030 or Hennings at (618) 468-6400.