- The University of Southern Mississippi will commemorate African-American
History month in February with a series of special events, including
a University Forum presentation and performance by a black musical
Generations," a group of three generations of African-American
artists representing unique viewpoints of American folk songs and
spirituals, will be featured during a University Forum program Feb.
25 at 7 p.m. in Bennett Auditorium. The group includes internationally
recognized performers Benjamin Matthews, Robert Sims and Kenneth
Overton, who will discuss the African-American folk and spiritual
going to be a tremendous event for our community," said Southern
Miss Music Professor Dr. Kim Davis. "For people who love the
whole art form of the spiritual, this is an elevated form of this
The forum program
will serve as the annual Armstrong-Branch Lecture, honoring Gwendolyn
Armstrong and Raylawni Branch, the first two African-American students
to attend Southern Miss. A vocal ensemble performance by the group
will follow Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mannoni Performing Arts
Center. Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for Southern Miss students,
and $15 for Southern Miss faculty, staff and seniors 65 and older.
Sponsors for Three Generations' visit to Southern Miss include the
Mississippi Arts Commission, the Hattiesburg Arts Council, Partners
for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
it is highly important, first, that it is a part of our history
that's being demonstrated and discussed, and it's something informative
to a lot of African Americans who don't know the origin and history
of the spiritual," Davis said. "It's informative in terms
of our heritage... A lot of times we sing them (spirituals) in church
and don't know how they came about. This will be not only informative,
senior Roderick Gilbert, president of the African-American Student
Organization, said his group will work throughout February to promote
the achievements of African-Americans on campus. "The whole
focus is to remind people that African-American history is American
history," Gilbert said.
History Month events scheduled for the Southern Miss campus include
Feb. 3: The African-American Student Organization (AASO) will distribute
African-American History Month ribbons, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., R.C. Cook
University Union Lobby.
Feb. 12: The
Southern Miss History Department and Omega Psi Phi fraternity present
"The Black Panther Party: Former Political Prisoners Speak,"
Southern Miss Polymer Science Auditorium, 7 p.m.
Statewide Unity Summit, Southern Miss campus, sponsored by Southern
Miss and the University of Mississippi.
Feb. 27: The
Southern Miss NAACP chapter sponsors a march on Kennard-Washington
Hall, 12:15 p.m.
For more information
about African-American History Month events at Southern Miss, contact
the university's Student Activities Office at (601) 266-4403. For
more information on the Three Generations University Forum program,
call (601) 266-5762.