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Under the theme of “Resistance: Black Activism through the Ages,” Lafayette will celebrate Black Heritage Month in February with guest speakers, film screenings, community discussions, and a keynote talk by American civil rights activist Diane Nash.

Her lecture will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17 in the Williams Center for the Arts.

Diane Nash

Diane Nash

Nash was a leader of the student wing of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. Through the use of nonviolent principles, Nash led the Nashville Sit-ins, the first successful civil rights campaign to integrate lunch counters in a Southern city, and a turning point in the movement. She helped coordinate the 1961 Freedom Rides from Birmingham, Ala., to Jackson, Miss., which in the face of certain violence, led to desegregation of interstate buses and facilities. This story was recounted in the PBS American Experience film Freedom Riders.

Nash was cofounder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and helped initiate the Alabama Voting Rights Project and the Selma Voting Rights Movement. In 1963, President John F. Kennedy appointed Nash and other civil rights leaders to a national committee whose work contributed to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The month’s events are coordinated by the Office of Intercultural Development and are sponsored by the Association of Black Collegians, the McDonogh Alumni Network, the office of Religious & Spiritual Life, the Department of History, and the Africana Studies and Film & Media Studies programs. For more information, contact Intercultural Development, (610) 330-5320.

Black Heritage Month Schedule

  • Feb. 3, noon-Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
    “Dungeons and Dragons of Modernity: Industrial Slavery and the Hidden Origins of Fascism in Antebellum Coal Mines”
    Lecture by Jeremy Zallen, assistant professor of history
  • Feb. 10, noon-Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, room 104
    “Eastern Promises: The Sexualization of Ethnicity”
    Lecture by Joshua Sanborn, professor of history
  • Feb. 15, noon-Location TBD
    “The Legacy of Diane Nash”
    Lecture by Robert Mayer, professor of education and director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching at Moravian College
  • Feb. 7, 10 a.m.-Greater Shiloh Church, Easton, Pa.
    Super Soul Sunday, visit Greater Shiloh Church, a historically Black, non-denominational Christian congregation. Transportation provided
  • Feb. 7, 8 p.m.-Portlock Black Cultural Center
    Come watch Super Bowl 50
  • Feb. 16, 7 p.m.-Williams Arts Campus Theater
    Film Screening: Selma or 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets
  • Feb. 17, noon-Williams Arts Campus Theater
    Film Screening: Eyes on the Prize (episode 3 featuring Diane Nash)
  • Feb. 17, 7 p.m.-Williams Center
    Keynote with Diane Nash
  • Feb. 21
    The Color Purple on Broadway
    By Reservation Only
  • Feb. 22, 4:30 p.m.-Oechsle Hall, room 224
    “Women, Islam, and Activism”
    Lecture by author and religion scholar Jamillah Karim
  • Feb. 29, 7:30 p.m.-Oechsle Hall, room 224
    “Outing Odell: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Sports”
    Lecture by Drew Brown ’06, visiting scholar at University of Houston
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