Black History Month events at TTU this year span local to global levels

Black History Month events at Tennessee Tech University this year will feature guest speakers ranging from poets to psychologists and will highlight black history from local to global levels.

Poet Nikki Giovanni, musicians Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa and the annual soul food dinner are just some of the highlights.
Events will kick off with a worship service at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 1, in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center. The service will open with gospel singing from the United Voices of Praise choir, and an inspirational message will be presented.

The annual soul food dinner is always a popular feature of TTU’s Black History Month events, and it’s set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10, in the Tech Pride Room of the Roaden University Center. The event is free for TTU students and $5 for the public.

The menu for this year’s soul food dinner will include fried chicken and pork chops, cornbread, turnip greens, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, sweet potato pie, peach cobbler and punch.

Beverly Watts, from the State of Tennessee’s Human Rights Commission, will be the featured dinner speaker, and her topic will address the plight of minority women.

Other Black History Month events planned on campus include:

• Dr. Terrance Roberts, who was one of the nine students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957 and is now a psychologist, will give a presentation at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2, in Derryberry Hall Auditorium. Minority Affairs and Center Stage are sponsoring the event.

• A gospel extravaganza is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, in the Multipurpose Room and sponsored by the Omicron Phi chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and Cookeville’s Trinity Baptist Church.

• Harmony, a day featuring people of African origin and their contributions to the world, will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., an exhibit of artistic creations of black TTU employees and community members will be presented in the Multipurpose Room and Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center. A performance by Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa is set for 6 p.m.

• A black history quiz bowl is set for 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 23, in the Multipurpose Room. The competition is open only to TTU students, but the public is invited to attend.

• Renowned, award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni will give a presentation at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25, in Derryberry Hall Auditorium. Her autobiography, Gemini, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Oprah Winfrey has named her one of 25 “living legends.” Minority Affairs and Center Stage are sponsoring her appearance.

• The most critically acclaimed serial documentary about civil rights in America, Eyes on the Prize, will be shown in Room 110 of the Volpe Library and Media Center at 7 p.m. each Tuesday from Jan. 27 to Feb. 24 and each Wednesday from Jan. 28 to Feb. 25.

The documentary has won multiple awards, including several Emmys, a George Foster Peabody Award, an International Documentary Award and a Television Critics Association Award.

It is being presented by The Volpe Library and Media Center, Minority Affairs, Commission on the Status of Blacks, History Department and Diversity, Equity and Access Council.

For more information about any Black History Month event, call TTU’s Minority Affairs Office at 931/372-3392. For more information about the documentary, call the TTU Volpe Library’s Media Center at 931/372-3544.

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