By Megan Greve
Several Ohio University departments and organizations will observe Black History Month in February with events designed to showcase the history and accomplishments of black people across the nation and around the world.
"Black History Month -- just like the many other months, weeks and days the university celebrates to honor a group of people -- is meant to be educational while raising awareness of the significant contributions of that particular group of people," said Winsome Chunnu, assistant director of the university's Multicultural Center.
Several events are slated leading up to National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Saturday, Feb. 7.
The HBO movie "Life Support," starring actress/rapper Queen Latifah, will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2, in the Multicultural Center in Baker University Center. The movie is based on a true story about an African-American woman dealing with poverty, AIDS and drugs. Queen Latifah's character eventually becomes an AIDS activist and role model in the community. The movie is free and open to the public.
On Tuesday Feb. 3, free HIV testing will be offered in the Multicultural Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The tests are anonymous and anyone can e-mail KnowYourStatusOU@yahoo.com to schedule an appointment.
Marvelyn Brown -- speaker, blogger, HIV/AIDS activist and author of "The Naked Truth: Young, Beautiful and HIV Positive" -- will speak at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in Baker University Center Theatre. Diagnosed with HIV five years ago at the age of 19, Brown is CEO of Marvelous Connections and serves as an independent HIV consultant. She has won an Emmy Award for Outstanding National Public Service Announcement as well as several other awards.
The African Student Union will host its annual African Hero Night program at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, in the Walter Hall Rotunda. The annual event honors those whose work has made a positive impact on Africa. This year's honoree is Ohio University Director of African Studies Steve Howard. He is being recognized for his longtime recruitment and mentoring of African graduate students, many of whom have gone on to hold governmental posts in their home countries. As part of the program, Michael Stewart, originally from Jamaica and now of Chicago, will show a documentary about his work with homeless children in Tanzania. The event also features food and entertainment and is free and open to the public.
The Black Student Cultural Programming Board (BSCPB) will present "1001 Black Inventions," a play that chronicles people living in a world without the inventions of African-Americans, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the Baker University Center Theatre. Actors from Pin Points Theatre in Washington, D.C., will perform the play, which is free and open to the public.
BSCPB also will host an informal Black History Month trivia game at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, in the Baker University Center Front Room, giving audience members a change to test their knowledge of African-American history. The event is free, and refreshments will be provided.
Other Black History Month events will be highlighted on the Office of Multicultural Programs Web site as details become available.