Performances by an award-winning slam poet and an African dance and drum ensemble, and an appearance by "Frederick Douglass" highlight Penn State Harrisburg’s February observance of Black History Month.
All performances are free and open to the public.
The community is invited to participate in the National African American Read-In on campus at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5 as the month-long campus celebration begins.
Participants can join over a million readers in the 18th annual event which has been endorsed by the International Reading Association.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, Dr. Joy Leary, a pioneer researcher and author into the theory of Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome, will address the impacts on African descendants in the Americas. The theory suggests that centuries of slavery followed by systematic racism and oppression have resulted in multi-generational adaptive behaviors, some positive and others detrimental and destructive.
Slam poet E-Baby continues the celebration when he appears on Stack’s Stage in the Olmsted Building Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 9:15 to 10:15 p.m.
Known as poetry’s "Competition King," E-Baby has made his mark on the underground and campus scene by winning a number of honors, including the 2002 Poetology Contest.
Blending a unique fusion of rap and poetry, the Washington, D.C. native is considered to be a poet who "paints pictures with words and gives silence a voice." His poetry has been described as funny, realistic, and caring. Slam poetry is done with emotion, and the audience is encouraged to express emotions during the performance by using snaps, claps, and words.
E-Baby has opened for R&B artist Me’shell N’degeOcello, Jaguar Wright, Heather Headley, Kevon Edmunds, and Musiq Soul Child.
On Thursday, Feb. 8, the Sanfoka African Dance and Drum Ensemble comes to the Gallery Lounge in the Olmsted Building for a 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. performance.
Sanfoka is a symbolic Ghanaian expression represented by a bird whose head turns back looking toward the past. The Sanfoka African Dance and Drum Ensemble revives the cultural essences of the past and brings them into the present.
Sanfoka presents dance and theater works expressing the dynamic presence of African culture in America. A West African ensemble, this unique group is comprised of six talented women who bring magic to the harmonies, melodies, rhythms, counter melodies, and vocal styles of the African and African American musical tradition.
They are storytellers, musicians, and historians who reach back into the rich legacy of African calls and chants, songs of resistance, and down home spirituals.
Karamo Brown brings his message of overcoming prejudice to the Community Center at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15. Brown first appeared on MTV’s hit reality show "The Real World Philadelphia" and is know for living his life to help others.
Famed African American Frederick Douglass, recreated by LeCount R. Holmes, comes to the Gallery Lounge Tuesday, Feb. 27 from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Dressed in period costume and utilizing his resonating bass-baritone voice, Holmes recreates the life and times of one of America’s finest orators, educators, and historic figures in "Frederick Douglass: The Man."
Holmes, who wrote the one-man show, has been performing his tribute to Douglass for more than a decade throughout the U.S. and Europe, sharing the richness of African American history while teaching determination, perseverance, and self-esteem.
As an ingredient in his performance, Holmes — as Douglass — invites questions from his 21st century audience. Included in the presentation are intimate details of Douglass’ amazing life, and memorable quotes and excerpts from his most famous speeches — including his definitive "Fourth of July" condemnation of slavery in America.