This February, Shenandoah University’s Intercultural Programs and Black Student Union, with support from Spiritual Life, International Programs and Shenandoah Conservatory, are partnering together to celebrate Black History Month. Through a series of thought-provoking, fun and moving programs, the campus and local community will celebrate diversity, cultural awareness and historical mindfulness in a variety of forms.
Shenandoah’s landmark celebration of Black History Month comes as a result of a concerted effort by the new Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Intercultural Programs, Maggie McCampbell, whose main goals are to provide support to multicultural student groups and raise intercultural awareness on campus. While McCampbell provides support, she stresses that, “Everything I do is based on what students want, what students say, what they need, what they hope to create on campus. All of our programs this year are student ideas and they are student-led programs. … Students are excited this year and hoping to bring a Black History Month like Shenandoah has never seen before.”
The exciting schedule of events includes a featured free performance open to the public called “Their Story/Our History,” on Feb. 21, at 8 p.m. in Goodson Chapel/Recital Hall. This student-directed show will celebrate black history starting from African roots and continuing through present day through acting, singing and dancing by members of the Shenandoah campus community, including the Harambee Gospel Choir. Individuals of all backgrounds are invited to come and have fun celebrating diversity and to embrace the spirit of interculturalism.
Throughout the month, “Their Story/Our History” will be uniquely promoted by an “Act Out” where actors dressed as historically notable African Americans will deliver impactful messages around campus to encourage students to attend the event. Both “Their Story/Our History” and the “Act Out” are the result of a vision begun by senior Myia Harris to educate the community on the lesser known, and seldom taught, individuals from black history.
Also open to the public is Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble’s presentation of “The Music of Ella Fitzgerald,” Friday, Feb. 7 , 8 p.m., in Armstrong Concert Hall. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for non-Shenandoah students.
Later in the month, the public may also attend “Civil War and Reconstruction Condensed” a riveting lecture by noted historical author Jonathan Noyalas, on Thursday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m., in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium.
Following is the complete list of Shenandoah’s Black History Month events, including exciting student-focused events:
Act Out: Saturday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 28. On Campus. Free.
Throughout the month, members of the Shenandoah community will dress like important individuals who have made a difference in the African American community throughout history. They will deliver messages around campus and encourage others to attend “Their Story, Our History,” later in the month.
Black History Month Trip to Washington, D.C./Maryland: Saturday, Feb. 1. 11:45 a.m. to 11 p.m., SU Students Only. Free.
This exciting trip includes a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, a stop at Howard University for a special Nelson Mandela exhibit and an enjoyable dinner before heading to the University of Maryland for a performance of “For Colored Folks.” Vans leave campus at 11:45 a.m. and return to campus around 11 p.m. Space is limited to current, full-time Shenandoah students. Contact Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Intercultural Programs Maggie McCampbell at 540/535-3531 or [email protected] for more information.
University Chapel @ Noon: Each Sunday, Noon, Goodson Chapel/Recital Hall
Celebrate Black History Month by examining our treatment and judgment of “the other.” The scriptures and themes for each Sunday celebrate the strengths, gifts and realizations brought by those thought to be “the other.” Samaritan, Syrophoenician, or “the kid from the other village,” each of us is here for God’s works to be revealed through us. Our community needs each one of us, including all the pain, shame and victory in our stories, to be truly acknowledged in order to be fully whole.
Paper Bead Making: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Brandt Student Center, Main Hallway. Free.
In many African cultures, beads play a huge role in women’s lives. Meanings behind African beads include pride, beauty, culture, power and identity. In honor of Black History Month, Shenandoah students can craft bracelets from beads made from magazine paper and small beads from craft stores. Contact Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Intercultural Programs Maggie McCampbell at 540/535-3531 or [email protected] for more information.
Wednesday Night Live: Each Wednesday, 10 p.m., Goodson Chapel/Recital Hall
Spiritual Life will present an artistic expression honoring an African American leader each Wednesday.
The Music of Ella Fitzgerald: Friday, Feb. 7 , 8 p.m., Armstrong Concert Hall. Open to Public. Tickets Required.
Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble presents “The Music of Ella Fitzgerald.” Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens and $5 for non-SU students. Complimentary tickets are available in advance for students with SU I.D. Visit www.conservatoryperforms.org or call the box office at 540/665-4569 for more details.
Ewabo: Friday, Feb. 14, Noon, Allen Dining Hall. Free.
With an emphasis on the steel drum, better known as pan to the people of its native Trinidad and Tobago, Ewabo is recognized as one of the preeminent Caribbean calypso bands in the mid-Atlantic region. Students can hear them play at noon in Allen Dining Hall. Use your meal plan or pay cash for lunch. Contact [email protected] for more details.
Their Story/Our History: Friday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m., Goodson Chapel/Recital Hall. Open to Public. Free.
This performance will celebrate Black History Month, starting from beginning African roots and continuing through our present day. This student-directed show will include acting, singing and dancing by members of the campus community. Contact Assistant Director of Student Engagement for Intercultural Programs Maggie McCampbell at 540/535-3531 or [email protected] for more information.
Who is Black in America? Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m., Brandt Student Center, Room 123. Free.
During this Black Student Union forum participants will watch clips from the CNN documentary, Who is Black in America? and discuss the question based on their unique backgrounds and viewpoints. A Shenandoah staff member will moderate the discussion.
The Now Near Prospect of Civil Fratricidal War: Winchester on the Eve of Civil War, Thursday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m., Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium. Open to Public. Free.
While Winchester’s Civil War story is well known, few have examined Winchester’s experiences on the eve of our American Iliad. This presentation will cover the wide-ranging reactions of Winchester’s population to the events of John Brown’s raid, the varied attitudes toward secession in this community, and what ultimately prompted loyalties to shift from pro-Union to ardently pro-Confederate in the spring of 1861.
Your guest lecturer, Jonathan Noyalas, an alumnus of Shenandoah University (History, ’01), is currently assistant professor of history and director of the Center for Civil War History at Lord Fairfax Community College. He is the author or editor of eight books on topics related to the Civil War era in the Shenandoah Valley.