African peoples history month provides cultural fests beginning Feb. 1

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African peoples history month provides cultural fests beginning Feb. 1

The African Peoples History Month at California State University, Fresno begins with opening ceremonies on Monday, Feb. 1, followed by a line-up of subsequent activities that includes University Lecture Series speakers Scott Ritter and June Jordan.

The Rosa Parks Awards will culminate the month-long observance on Feb. 26 when outstanding students, staff and community leaders will be honored at closing ceremonies.

Frankie Moore, adviser of the university’s APHM Planning Committee, said the observance’s theme is “Many Paths, One Destination, and Still … So Far to Go.” She said the month-long observance helps illustrate the role African Americans have played in the history of the United States.

“It’s an educational tool to inform people about African American history and culture using a full month of activities,” Moore explaining that the observance dates as far back as the early 1920s.

Several activities geared towards students will be held, such as step shows and the Mr. Ivy Pageant, but the lecture series speakers headline the general community-oriented highlights in the Satellite Student Union at 7:30 p.m. on two different nights during the month.

On Feb. 18, Scott Ritter, a former United Nations weapons inspector, will provide a first-hand perspective on global affairs. On Feb. 23, June Jordan, renowned poet, essayist, novelist and playwright, will speak.

The month’s Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 1 at noon in the University Student Union Pit will feature university and community speakers along with a performance by the Fresno State Gospel Choir.

The African American Student Recruitment Conference is Saturday, Feb. 6, at 8 a.m. in the Satellite Student Union, followed by a Gospel Concert that night featuring local area choirs and professional groups, also in the SSU.

The Vendor’s Carnival will be held Feb. 10 from noon to 7 p.m. in the SSU, where Afro-Centric goods will be sold. On Feb. 11, “Jazz and Poetry in the Pub” will be held at 7 p.m. in the Coffeehouse.

On Feb. 17, Dr. Robert Mikell, a Fresno State ethnic studies professor, will speak at a health issues forum on “How to Make Soul Food Healthier” at noon in USU 312-314.

Children’s’ Day is Feb. 18 at 9 a.m. in the SSU with local fifth and sixth graders participating in such competitions as oratorical, essay, double Dutch, and Jr. Bowl.

A church service at 10 a.m. and a Soul Food Cook-Off at 5 p.m. will be held Feb. 21. A jazz concert featuring “They Bad” will be held Feb. 22.

The African American Research Center will hold a soul food barbecue on Feb. 25 in the Free Speech Area along with a presentation on the “Evolution of African-American Music” from noon to 5 p.m. in the USU Pit (or the University Cafeteria, Rm. 200 if it rains).

After the Feb. 26 closing ceremonies, “Showtime at the Satellite” will be held Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the SSU, where a talent show in the tradition of the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, N.Y., will be open to contestants of all ages.

The activities are made possible by support from the University Student Union, the Student Activities and Leadership Development Office, USU Productions, the Diversity Awareness Program, and the Associated Students, Inc.

For more information about other activities planned, call Frankie Moore at (559) 278-2741.