Black History Month opens with film series about the Black Renaissance

Discussions of films, music and dance performances take place throughout February

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The North Star Center

Black History Month Celebration

Black History Month at RIT launches with the feature film “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 2. It is one of a variety of movies, music and dance performances throughout February taking place at the university. The film will be shown in the Campus Center, room 2610.

“The Black Film Series highlights different African-Americans who have changed American history,” says Stephanie Paredes, cultural and academic programming coordinator for RIT’s North Star Center, host of the event. “After each film viewing we will be having a discussion about the impact of the film in today’s world.”

Additional films include “Crucibles of Courage,” featuring biographies of five influential African-Americans such as Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, and “Partners of the Heart,” which recounts the story of Vivien Thomas, who rose from a lab technician at Johns Hopkins University to become head of the university’s surgical research laboratory.

The Caribbean Deaf Club, the Ebony Club, two RIT student organizations, and the NTID Student Life Team will sponsor a film for the series, “Listening to the Hands of our People,” about the experiences of several deaf men and women who have AIDS.

“The Black Renaissance was created to bring awareness to different aspects of African-American culture to the RIT community,” says Paredes. “Though this event is focused on celebrating black culture, it also helps to enlighten and educate the RIT community on diversity.”

Also featured during Black History month will be local band Black August and Sankofa, the African Dance and Drum Ensemble from the State University of New York at Brockport and a Rochester/National Black History exhibit, sponsored by the Rochester Museum and Science Center.

All of the programs are free and open to members of the campus community. Free food and refreshments will be provided. Members of the North Star Center will also be collecting donations for Haiti Relief.

For more information about the events, contact Paredes at or 475-6918.

Event Listing:
Film, “The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till” with a discussion afterward led by Keith Jenkins, professor, communication department, College of Liberal Arts, 7 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Student Alumni Union Campus Center, room 2610

Film, “Partners of the Heart” with a discussion afterward led by Andre Hudson, assistant professor, biology department, College of Science, 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in the Student Alumni Union Campus Center, room 2610

Film, “Listening to the Hands of our People” 8:30 p.m. Feb. 10 in the Student Development Center at NTID

Black Renaissance—Music, dance and exhibit, 2-4 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Student Alumni Union, Davis Room

Film, “Crucibles of Courage” with a discussion afterward with Kijana Crawford, associate professor, sociology/anthropology department, College of Liberal Arts, 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Student Alumni Union Campus Center, room 2610