TTU events commemorate February as Black History Month

Hip-hop activism, soul food and the daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu are among the highlights of this year’s Black History Month celebration at Tennessee Tech University.

Several events are scheduled on campus throughout the month of February in observance of Black History Month.

They kick off with the popular annual soul food dinner, set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center.

The cost of the meal, which is open to the public, is $5. Students will be able to swipe their Eagle cards to count the cost toward their meal plans. Entertainment will be provided by a jazz, hip-hop fusion group called Simply Put.

Other Black History Month events include:

• A showing and discussion about a documentary titled The N-Word, is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 11, in the Black Cultural Center in the Roaden University Center.

Featuring a long list of well-known names, from Whoopi Goldberg to George Carlin, the documentary explores the social ramifications of using the “n-word” to describe racial status.

• A presentation by Naomi Tutu, daughter of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is set for 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, in Derryberry Hall Auditorium.

Her father was an activist against the policy of apartheid and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. Growing up “the daughter of” has offered Tutu both opportunities and challenges.

She began her public speaking in the 1970s, when she was a student at Berea College in Kentucky, and her professional experience ranges from being a development consultant in West Africa, college instructor and human rights activist for the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence and the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa.

• A presentation by hip-hop activist Jeff Johnson is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, in Derryberry Hall Auditorium. A Center Stage event, the presentation is co-sponsored by TTU’s Minority Affairs office.

Johnson, a regular on the BET television network, will discuss a number of issues or problems he sees within the African-American community, such as lack of proper leadership and focus, lack of proper education and direction and lack of outreach to the community.

He has successfully merged his grassroots activism, media savvy and leadership into a lifestyle consulting firm called Truth is Power, which specializes in leadership and curriculum development, media strategy and social branding.

• And a Black History Quiz Bowl is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, in the Multipurpose Room.

For more information about any of these Black History Month events, call TTU’s Minority Affairs office at 931/372-3392.

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