Shawnee State University celebrates Black History Month with everything from poetry readings, MLK Day of Service to guest speakers, a gospel fest, a music and comedy tribute to famous entertainers, and a comedy and dance show.
The celebration begins with First Friday: Pass the Mic at 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 1 with rappers, comedians, poets, singers and dancers at the Smith Coffee House in the University Center by Jazzman’s. Pass the Mic is free and open to all students and community members.
The annual MLK Day of Service begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 in the UC 230 Sodexo Ballroom. Students will go out into the community for service and meet back at the University Center later in the day. Keynote Speaker is Dr. Betty Lovelace-Ross, associate provost and associate vice provost for Academic & Student Affairs at Capital University, will speak at 4 p.m.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Flohr Lecture Hall “Civil Rights, Civil Wrongs: Rethinking Dr. King and the Movement” historian and educator Royce Kinniebrew will take a look at the Civil Rights movement from a different perspective. The event is free and open to the public.
The annual AHANA (African, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific and Native American) student organization presents a Gospel Fest on Sunday, Feb. 19, at 4 p.m. in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Join local and regional church choirs, dance and mime ministries during a celebration of Black History Month. The event is free and open to the public.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, a “Music and Comedy Tribute: When Music was at its Best” will be entertaining on the main stage at the VRCFA. Comedian BLT is hosting the show with artists pay tribute to Smokey Robinson, Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Tyrone Davis, Otis Redding, Johnny Taylor and Michael Jackson. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, seniors and children under 12, if purchased in advance, or $15 and $7 at the door. They are on sale now at the McKinley Box Office at 740-351-3600.
To wrap up the month, dancer/comedian Kenneth “Xclusive” Paryo will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 in the University Center Sodexo Ballroom. He was a featured contestant on NBC’s hit reality television show America’s Got Talent Season 3 where he was seen nationwide. He has opened for Trey Songz at Georgia State University, and now performs at MLB and NBA games nationally. The show is free and open to the public.