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MEDIA ADVISORY: MU to Celebrate Black History Month with Lecture by Rap Artist and Other Events Throughout the Month

Story Contact(s):
Nathan Hurst,, 573-882-6217

WHAT: The University of Missouri will celebrate Black History Month with a series of events throughout February. The month-long celebration, Living Civil Rights: Challenges for the 21st Century, will feature events such as lectures, film screenings, and question and answer panels. Some of the events include:

  • “Race, Rap and Reality,” a lecture by Chuck D of Public Enemy, a rap group whose lyrics often challenge the political establishment, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 5 at Conservation Auditorium in the Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building, MU campus.
  • A performance by MU alumna and soul jazz singer Alicia Olatuja, followed by a question and answer session at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13 at Whitmore Auditorium in the Fine Arts Building, MU campus.
  • A screening and discussion with the filmmakers, Elaine Lawless and Todd Lawrence, of “Taking Pinhook,” a film about the story of Pinhook, Mo., where a predominantly African-American town was destroyed when the Army Corps of Engineers breached the Birds Point-New Madrid levee, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb 20 at Leadership Auditorium in the MU Student Center.

“This year we are excited to once again connect our programming to the national theme which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act,” said Stephanie Shonekan, an assistant professor of ethnomusicology and black studies in the MU School of Music and chair of the MU Black History Month committee. “Our aim was to design programming that inspires conversations about how far we have come as a local, national and global community. More than ever, we hope that the performances, panels, lectures and readings inspire and engage our entire community regardless of ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or nationality.”

Black History Month is an annual celebration of African-American history. This celebration has existed since 1926, when Carter G. Woodson organized the first Negro History Week. Woodson selected the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Over the years, Negro History Week developed into today’s Black History Month.

WHO: MU students, faculty, staff and campus community.

WHERE: Feb. 1 – Feb. 28
Various locations
MU campus

NOTES: Events are free and open to the public. A full schedule of events can be seen at