UNC Asheville to Hold Events in Observance of Black History Month;
Acclaimed Author bell hooks to Give Keynote Address
UNC Asheville will celebrate Black History Month
throughout February with a range of special events. Among the highlights
will be a keynote address by acclaimed author bell hooks and a stop of
the “Mali to Memphis” tour featuring esteemed guitarist Habib Koite.
Events are open to the public.
** Prolific cultural commentator and acclaimed
author bell hooks will give the UNC Asheville Black History Month
keynote address on “Return Migration” at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25,
at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. This event is free and open to
Although hooks is known mainly as a feminist
thinker, her writings cover a broad range of topics on gender, race,
teaching and the significance of media for contemporary culture. Her
first book, “Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism” was named one of
the “twenty most influential women’s books of the last twenty years” by
Publishers Weekly in 1992. Her most recent book, “We Real Cool: Black
Men and Masculinity,” takes a hard look at the problems black males
face. hooks lives in New York and has taught at Yale, Oberlin and City
University of New York.
** Some 25 pieces of
traditional West African art from the private collection of
Jordan Holtam will be on view from February 1-27 at UNC Asheville
Blowers Gallery, located on the main floor of Ramsey Library. A gallery
talk and opening reception with the collector will be held at 4 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 3, in the gallery. This event is free and open to the
Holtam, now a resident of Weaverville, collected a
wide variety of traditional African art during the 18 years he lived in
Liberia. His collection includes masks, sculptures, pottery and personal
adornments from several West African countries, including Liberia,
Sierra Leone, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire.
** “Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem
Renaissance” will take center stage at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, in
UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. This event is free and open to the
Now in its seventh season, this show is an
exploration of the African American music and poetry of the 1920s and
‘30s. It features Akin Babatunde portraying three of the great poets of
the period: Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay as well as
the renowned painter Aaron Douglas. The Core Ensemble, featuring cello,
piano and percussion, will perform the musical score, which is drawn
from African American jazz and classical music.
** UNC Asheville’s Center for Jewish Studies will
host a talk and slide presentation on
“From Black Power to Jewish
Radicalism,” by Michael Staub, author and associate professor of
English at Bowling Green State University, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday,
Feb. 10, at UNC Asheville’s Reuter Center. He will discuss the impact of
Jewish student activism of the late 1960s and early 1970s, as well as
the adaptation of Black Pride for a Jewish context. This event is free
and open to the public.
Staub is the author of two books: “Torn at the
Roots: The Crisis of Jewish Liberalism in Postwar America” and “Voices
of Persuasion: Politics of Representation in 1930s America.” He is also
the editor of “The Jewish 1960’s: An American Sourcebook.” Articles in
other publications include, “Negroes are not Jews: Race, Holocaust
Consciousness, and the Rise of Jewish Neoconservatism” and “Black
Panthers, New Journalism, and the Rewriting of the Sixties.”
** UNC Asheville will host Habib Koite and his band
Bamada with opening blues artist Guy Davis for a stop on the
Memphis” tour at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky
Auditorium. Named for the critically acclaimed Putamayo collection,
“Mali to Memphis” is a musical journey from the heart of an ancient West
African kingdom to an American city where the blues music came into its
own. Tickets are $18 general admission and $15 children ages 12 and
African-born singer and master guitarist Habib
Koite has emerged as one of the leading figures in contemporary world
music, sometimes called the African Eric Clapton. His three albums
reflect ancient Malian griot tradition, while incorporating subtle
The headlines call Guy Davis a renaissance bluesman
and an artist who defies the rural blues myth. Often touted as a member
of the new generation of country blues artists, Davis is well-versed in
the music’s traditions and has eight albums to his credit.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call
UNC Asheville’s Special Events Box Office at 828/232‑5000.
** “Gospel Fest 2005” will be held at 3:30
p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. The event
will feature several local gospel choirs, including the Clinton
Tabernacle and Friendship Baptist Choirs from Hickory, and “God’s
Anointed” Combined Choir and the Triad Stone Young Adult Choir from
Asheville. This event is free and open to the public.
For more information, call UNC Asheville’s
Multicultural Student Programs Office at 828/232-5110.
- Deirdre Wiggins, UNC Asheville Interim Director of Multicultural
- Jill Yarnall, UNC Asheville Public Information Assistant Director,