Black History Month originated in 1926 when historian
Carter G. Woodson promoted what was known as "Negro History Week" in
an effort to educate people about the accomplishments of African
Americans. In 1976, the celebration was expanded to include the
entire month of February, the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and
Fredrick Douglass. Black History Month is celebrated to remember
important individuals and events in African American history.
Events planned for the month include:
Thursday, Feb. 6
Zadi Zokou, "Black N Black" Film Screening
5 p.m., Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Room, 3rd floor of the
Zadi Zokou's documentary "Black N Black" explores the relationship
between African Americans and African immigrants. Zokou has worked
in movies for over 20 years and is trained in both screenwriting and
the technical aspects of film and audio-visual production in his own
country of Cote d'Ivoire, as well as in Burkina-Faso, Tunisia,
France, Canada and Japan.
Zokou has written screenplays for several internationally-funded
feature-length dramatic films that were screened throughout the West
Africa region to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. "Black N Black,"
released in 2018, has screened at festivals and universities in the
United States and made its international debut in Paris, France, in
Friday, Feb. 7
Maria Horvath: Presenting Joseph Bologne, A Black Man's Ascent in a
White Men's World, a.k.a. "The Black Mozart"
10 a.m., University Commons Collaboration Room A
Pianist Maria Horvath will host a special presentation on Joseph
Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges a composer, champion fencer,
virtuoso violinist and conductor of the Concert des Amateurs, a
leading symphony in Paris.
Sometimes referred to as "The Black Mozart," Bologne is best
remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry. His
father was a wealthy planter on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe
and his mother was an African slave. He was born on the island and
moved to France as an early teenager. In 1794, he became colonel of
the first cavalry brigade of "men of color" the St. Georges'
Legion which was also the first all-black regiment in Europe.
Bologne composed numerous string quartets and other instrumental
music and opera. President John Adams called him, "the most
accomplished man in Europe."
Maria Horvath is the principal pianist and celeste player of the
Illinois Symphony Orchestra and an active soloist and accompanist.
Currently, she teaches advanced piano and music appreciation at
Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Ill., and beginner to
advanced piano in her private piano studio, The Art of Piano in
Rochester, Ill. She is a frequent adjudicator, master class
clinician and lecturer.
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Friday, Feb. 14
Black Student Union: Valentine's Day Event
11 a.m., University Commons 1st floor lobby
Sunday, Feb. 16
Food for the Soul: Millikin Café
All day event; Millikin Dining Hall in the University Commons
Wednesday, Feb. 19
Black Art Gallery Display and African American Read-In featuring Antonio Burton
12 noon 6 p.m., Oberhelman Center for Leadership and Performance, University
Commons 1st floor
Antonio L. Burton, also known as "Toni Picasso," will feature his artwork at
Millikin University on Wednesday, Feb. 19 from 12 noon 6 p.m. and will create
an original painting from 2 3 p.m. A native of Decatur, Ill., he is one of
many African American young men who chose art to assist with changing the
narrative in his hometown.
After graduating from Eastern Illinois University, Burton began his career as
the art director for CTF, a nonprofit organization serving adults with
developmental disabilities. During his time working with CTF, Burton created and
implemented an art curriculum to provide his students opportunities to share
their skills and talents with the community by creating art for profit.
Burton's main goal and purpose of creating art today is to create self-awareness
in regards to everyday life, shed life on socioeconomic epidemics and to spread
awareness about God. During his public art classes, Burton walks with the
audience through step-by-step instruction to create their own masterpiece.
Thursday, Feb. 20
Gail Fyke presenting: Mary Mahoney, First African American Registered Nurse
12 noon 1 p.m., Oberhelman Center for Leadership and Performance, University
Commons 1st floor
Gail Fyke, assistant professor of nursing at Millikin, will lead a discussion on
Mary Mahoney, the first African American licensed nurse. Mahoney was admitted to
the nursing school of the New England Hospital for Women and Children, and
became the first black woman to complete nurse's training in 1879. She was also
one of the first black members of the American Nurses Association, and has been
credited as one of the first women to register to vote in Boston following the
ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. Mahoney was inducted into both the
Nursing Hall of Fame and the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Friday, Feb. 28
Black Student Union's Black History Month Prestigious Melanin Awards Ceremony
5:30 p.m., Bob and Debi Johnston Banquet Room, 3rd floor of the University
For more information about Millikin University's celebration of Black History
Month, contact the Office of Inclusion and Student Engagement at 217.424.6335 or
contact Tonya Hines, assistant director of inclusion, at email@example.com.
[Millikin University Director of
Media Relations and Publications Dane Lisser]