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Black History Month offers opportunities for fellowship, action

February 4, 2014

From trainings and discussions to lectures, performances and social events, the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s African American Student Academic Services is coordinating a full slate of activities for Black History Month, “honoring those who came before us.”

Black History Month poster

The month ends with the AASAS Candlelight Vigil on Friday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. Join African American Student Academic Services at the top of Bascom Hill in this closing event of Black History Month by commemorating, celebrating, and remembering the prominent African American figures who have paved the way. Free coffee and candles provided on a first come, first serve basis.

Many more events are taking place throughout the month; a full listing of events may be found at AASAS’s online calendar. All events are free, unless otherwise noted.


• Sitting at the Feet of Our Elders with Teju the Storyteller, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 6 p.m., Dejope Hall, 640 Elm Dr.

Come hear the tales of Teju the Storyteller brought to you by the office of African American Student Academic Services and the Zeta Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

• UW Black Music Ensemble, Richard Davis, director, Thursday, Feb. 13, 8:30 p.m., Morphy Hall, Mosse Humanities Building, 455 N. Park St.

This eclectic group of musicians explores the wide repertoire of black composers. For more information, email

• Multicultural Performing Arts Festival: “Rain Wilson’s Jungle Kings: Every Man Needs a Little Power,” Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m., H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Ave.

“Jungle Kings” follows the growth and descent of “Baby Cockroach,” an African-American youth taken under the wings of an OG (original gangster) named “Cockroach.” He is given his name, his role and most likely his destiny. Now, after 10 years in prison, audience members witness the battle between truth and the system for his mind and future.

At 4 p.m. on Sunday, enjoy a reception and symposium with the cast and creators behind Rain Wilson’s “Jungle Kings” and Chris Walker’s “Moonshine” in Lathrop Hall’s Harrison Parlor. Join a discussion with guest experts on contemporary black performance’s role in exploring the realities, outcomes and social/political impact of the lived black experience throughout the diaspora. Why is the theatrical dialogue behind “Jungle Kings” relevant here? Also preview the impetus behind Chris Walker’s “Moonshine.” For more information, call 608-265-5228.

• Dance Department Friday Forum: “Moonshine,” Friday, Feb. 28, 3:30 p.m., H’Doubler Performance Space, Lathrop Hall, 1050 University Ave.

The UW Dance Department’s Friday Forum presents its annual Moonshine celebration of Black History Month. Assistant professor Chris Walker leads the event with assistance from friends and collaborators including acclaimed African-American student artists. Under the theme “Campus Climate,” audience members and participants gather to participate in a traditional gathering, in celebration of Black History Month. Come prepared to engage in and witness African and African-Caribbean dance, hip hop, spoken word, poetry, drumming, chanting and singing… and more.

Social events

• Speed Dating, Friday, Feb. 14, 10 a.m., On Wisconsin Room, Red Gym, 716 Langdon St.

Find local singles at Speed Dating on Valentine’s Day! Brought to you by the Zeta Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the Delta Kappa and Beta Omicron Chapters of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and the men of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. Delta Delta Chapter.

• Heart and Soul Masquerade Ball, Saturday, Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m., Madison Concourse Hotel, 1 W. Dayton St.

Join the Madison Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. for their 19th annual scholarship ball, “A Masquerade Affair.” Semi-formal attire requested. Tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for students; click here to register.

Trainings (visit calendar to register online)

• Social Justice 101, Thursday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m., CCE, Witte Hall, 615 W. Johnson St.

Social Justice 101 builds basic understanding around social justice work and issues through group discussion, facilitated activities and a prepared presentation. Participants will be able to define social justice, oppression and privilege, map out social injustices in campus/community spaces and explore types of community organizing and responses.

• Facilitation 201, Thursday, Feb. 20, 6 p.m., Red Gym South Mezzanine, 716 Langdon St.

Advanced facilitation training around difficult situations in social justice contexts. Participants will be able to identify the major components of a social justice workshop, practice and receive feedback on their facilitation, and practice handling difficult situations in social justice facilitation.

Discussion groups and symposia

• Talk to Me Tuesday: The Black Spectrum, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 7 p.m., CCE, Witte Hall, 615 W. Johnson St.

Come discuss the stigmas of being Same Gender Loving in the black community with the Wisconsin Black Student Union and the men of the Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

• WABM Black Male Initiative Forum, Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 22 from 9 a.m.-noon, Gordon Commons and Event Center, 2nd floor, 770 W. Dayton St.

This year’s two-day Black Male Initiative Forum focuses on the theme “Man in the Mirror: Is Self-Identity a Reflection of Interpersonal Relationships?”

Explore ways to assess if you are in alignment with yourself alongside Friday’s keynote speaker, UW–Madison alumnus the Rev. Alex Gee. Go deeper on Saturday morning with a round of expert-led sessions. The day closes with the annual call to action.

Tags: diversity, events