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Black History Month kickoff

TimesLedger Newspapers

In celebration of Black History Month, Queens College in Flushing will be hosting a series of free cultural events commemorating African-American movers and shakers past and present in February.

Echoing this year’s program theme — “The long struggle: Rising against oppression through education and culture, and building bridges for a brighter future” — these unique events will run from Feb. 6 through Feb. 29.

The college, at 65-30 Kissena Blvd., will jump-start Black History Month with one of its most notable events Feb. 7, featuring guest speaker Carolyn Peck, an ESPN basketball analyst and the first African-American female head coach to win an NCAA national basketball championship.

She won the 1999 NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Tournament as head coach of Purdue University. Peck will discuss her long journey in rising to the top of her game and career. She will be at the Rosenthal Library, Room 230, between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“I am honored to be speaking at Queens College as part of Black History Month activities,” Peck said. “I very much look forward to sharing my stories as well as meeting students, faculty and the campus community.”

Another inspiring event Feb. 8 will feature an exhibition, “History of Black Films of the Early 20th Century,” to spotlight the work of African-American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux.

He was the first person to make a full-length, eight-reel movie with all black actors and he produced and/or directed more than 40 films at a time when Hollywood did not welcome black artists. The exhibit will include posters, books and clips of his most important films. The exhibit will be on view inside and outside Rosenthal Library, Room 230, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The memorable film “Roots” will be shown Feb. 21. The popular 1977 television miniseries, based on Alex Haley’s novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” received unprecedented Nielsen ratings when it aired and won nine Emmys, a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. Watch it in the Student Union, Room 301, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The plight of black slaves will be remembered during an event showcasing the talents of Hilliard Greene, a passionate jazz musician, composer, music director, teacher and solo bassist, who will perform Negro spirituals, many of which have become well-known American folk songs, folk music and original compositions.

Greene will play six historically significant spirituals, whose Bible-based lyrics may have provided coded communication to help guide runaway slaves to freedom before the Civil War. His lyrics will be read and interpreted while he performs at Goldstein Theatre from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16.

“Peck’s lecture and Greene’s performance top the lineup of exciting events we have planned for February, which are sure to educate, engage and enlighten both the college and community,” Africana Studies Professor Evelyn Julmisse said.

Additional events at Queens College:

Film: “The Murder of Fred Hampton.” Hampton was an African-American activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.

Feb. 6, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Haiti, the Earthquake and its Aftermath”

Feb. 15, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Documentary Film: “Second Chances: The CUNY SEEK and CD Story”

Feb. 22, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Lecture: “Oppression of Blacks in America”

Feb. 23, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Latino Cultural Event: “Africa’s Contributions to Latin America”

Feb. 28, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Exhibition: “History of Black Films of the Early 20th Century”

Feb. 29, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Venues may be subject to last-minute change. Please call the college’s events office for updates at 718-997-3600.

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