April 13, 2010


ALLIANCE, Ohio - Since 1976, February has been recognized as Black History Month in communities across the country, and each year the campus community at Mount Union College holds special festivities in honor of the national celebration. Kicking off Black History Month this year, Mount Union welcomes Kevin Powell, a star on the first season of MTV's hit series, The Real World, and one of the leading voices of his generation.

Powell, a poet, essayist and political activist who has lectured on such issues as racism, sexism, American popular culture, Black and American history, Martin Luther King, Jr., contemporary literature, multiculturalism and the history of hip-hop, will be presenting in Presser Recital Hall on Thursday, February 1 at 7 p.m.

A frequent political and cultural commentator on television, radio and the Internet, Powell has presented to several colleges and universities including Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Howard, Wake Forest and Spelman College.

As a writer, Powell is author of four books, including Step Into A World: A Global Anthology of The New Black Literature, a definitive collection of the best writers of the hip-hop generation from 1957-1977. He has also written articles for such publications as Vibe, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Essence, George, Code and Ms. Powell is currently writing a narrative history of hip-hop to be published in the fall of 2004, 25 years after the first hip-hop hit, "Rapper's Delight," reached radios around the world.

As a hip-hop historian, Powell has participated in various summits, conferences and forums and is presently the Guest Curator for the Brooklyn Museum of Art's "Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhymes and Rage," which originated at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland with Powell as the exhibition consultant.

Powell's presentation is free and open to the public.

Black History Month originated from Negro History Week, which was promoted during the 1920's by an African American named Carter G. Woodson to commemorate the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, which fall in the same week of February. In recognition of this, February is dedicated as a time for Americans both to reflect on the history and teachings of African Americans whose contributions are little known today and to bear witness to the progress, richness and diversity of African American achievement.

Other Black History Month festivities at Mount Union include slam poet Kirk Nugent on Thursday, February 8 at 9 p.m. in Campus Grounds, the annual Soul Food Dinner and Fashion Show on Wednesday, February 14 at 7 p.m. in the solarium of Kresge Dining Hall and poet Nikki Giovanni on Thursday, February 15 at 7 p.m. in Mount Union Theatre. In addition, the Black Student Union will present its annual production on Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. and again on Thursday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m., bringing a close to Black History Month.

Tickets for the Soul Food Dinner and Fashion Show are $10 regular admission and $8 for students and are available at the information desk in the Hoover Price Campus Center.

For more information on any of these events, please call Kimberly Goodall, president of the Black Student Union, at (330) 823-5988.

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