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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Jan. 29, 2010

Ceremony, lecture, tributes highlight Black History Month

MARYVILLE, Mo.- Northwest will celebrate "The Essence of Blackness" with a series of events throughout the month of February, which is observed nationally each year as Black History Month to recognize the accomplishments and history of African-Americans.

The events will kick off at noon, Wednesday, Feb. 3, with an opening ceremony in the J.W. Jones Student Union Living Room. That night, politician and MSNBC analyst Harold Ford Jr. will speak at Northwest as part of the university's Distinguished Lecture Series . The lecture is set for 8 p.m., Wednesday in the Mary Linn Auditorium of the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

Ame Lambert, director of intercultural affairs at Northwest, noted Black History Month is about excavating, remembering and highlighting the triumphs and achievements of black people and allowing their stories to be told and celebrated.

"As we celebrate the essence of blackness in 2010, it is also an opportunity for all of us, whatever cultural background we identify with, to reflect and examine the events of our collective histories and listen to the stories being celebrated," Lambert said. "We should look for the many ways our stories connect and intersect with the stories being spotlighted."

Other events include:

Black History Month originated in 1926 as Negro History Week with black historian Carter G. Woodson's idea of highlighting the accomplishments of blacks absent from textbooks and mainstream celebrations. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The week was expanded to a month in 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial commemoration.

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468