Black History Month activities set at SIU

Illinois NAACP state president Teresa Haley is scheduled to speak and numerous other special events are planned as Southern Illinois University Carbondale celebrates Black History Month during February.

“Black Migrations” is the theme for the commemoration and all events are open to students, faculty, staff and the community at large. The vast majority of the events are free.

Kickoff Event

A Black History Month kickoff event is set for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 in the SIU Student Center auditorium. SIU Chancellor John M. Dunn will offer opening remarks and the event will feature a musical performance by Matt Wilson, an SIU alumnus.

Pamela Smoot, history assistant professor, will speak about “The Great Migration: Black Churches, Black Women and the National Urban League.”

In addition, Gentlemen of Vision, comprised of talented St. Louis area high school students, will perform a step show.

Refreshments will follow the program.

“Down in the Delta”

“Down in the Delta,” an acclaimed 1998 dramatic film, is scheduled to be shown at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 5 in the University Museum auditorium, which is located on the first floor of Faner Hall on the SIU campus.

Directed by Maya Angelou, the movie stars Alfred Woodard, Al Freeman Jr., Loretta Devin, Wesley Snipes and Esther Rolle, in her final film role.

The tale follows a family’s migration from the south northward and then back to the south.

A discussion will follow and refreshments will be served.

Keynote Address

Teresa Haley, who also serves as president of the Springfield NAACP, is scheduled to share her insights about black migration at 5 p.m. Feb. 7. The keynote program will be in the student center auditorium. Refreshments will follow the program.

“The Great Migration”

Tiffany Player, an assistant professor in the history degree program at the university, is scheduled to highlight some of the personal and family stories of those who made tough choices in hopes of finding a better life for themselves and their families.

Her presentation, titled “The Great Migration,” is set for 5 p.m. Feb. 18 at the John C. Guyon Auditorium at Morris Library on the SIU campus.

Black Businss Expo

A Black Business Expo will feature representatives from more than 15 successful black-owned businesses/vendors in the community.

The expo is scheduled in the student center’s International Lounge from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 27.

Music and refreshments will be featured as well.

A complete schedule of events can be found online at

The Gazette-Democrat

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