TAMIU Celebrates Black History Month

In observance of Black History Month, Texas A&M International University will present several events throughout February. The activities range from a Library exhibit and a Black Film Series, to a live webcast on HIV/AIDS, and presentations on art, music, literature, history, criminal justice, women and gender studies, and immigration. All events, except the film festival, are open to the public and all events are free. (click here for a calendar of events)

Dr. Ezra S. Engling, professor of Spanish and event coordinator, said he was pleased by the enthusiasm shown by the faulty and staff of TAMIU.

"On the one hand, the rich and varied activities celebrate the attainments of the peoples of Africa and the Diaspora; on the other, they keep us grounded in the ongoing struggles," said Engling.

The Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library exhibit was mounted by library clerk Alejandra Puente, and includes a memorial display of the victims of the Columbia shuttle tragedy of February 1. Among the crew was 43 year-old African-American Michael P. Anderson, payload commander. Anderson was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and a former instructor pilot and tactical officer who had logged over 211 hours in space. The double exhibit will be on display in the lobby of Killam Library until February 28.

TAMIU University Village's general manager Craig Jones, has launched its Black Film Series for Village residents. The series will show three quintessential motion pictures chronicling the black condition beginning with the perilous journey to America through the Middle Passage from the shores of Africa to the immense hatred of the segregated South and onto a history making gathering on the steps our nation's capital. Movies featured in the Black Film Series will be shown on consecutive nights in the University Village Community Center (UVCC), beginning on Tuesday February 4th and concluding on Thursday February 6th, 2003. On each night the featured movie will be shown from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will be followed by discussion. Snacks and drinks will be provided. The featured movies will include:

Amistad - Tuesday, February 4th, 2003

Steven Spielberg directed this powerful film depicting the real-life events that followed the 1839 insurrection aboard the slave ship Amistad. Desperate prisoner Cinque (Djimon Hounsou) leads his fellow prisoners in a bloody revolt on the ship and demands to be returned to Africa. When the slaves are recaptured and imprisoned in New England, lawyer Roger Baldwin (Matthew McConaughey) is hired to represent the Africans and their desire to return home. With the help of John Quincy Adams (Anthony Hopkins), Cinque and Baldwin try their historical case in front of the Supreme Court.

Ruby Bridges - Wednesday, February 5th, 2003

Based on actual events that occurred in Louisiana during 1960. Ruby (newcomer Monet) is a first grader who, after scoring one of the highest grades on her school board exam, is chosen as one of the first black students to integrate an all-white school. As racial tension escalates, Ruby is escorted to school by federal marshals, who attempt to protect her from the angry protestors. With guidance and support from her mother (Rochon), father (Beach), teacher (Miller) and a child psychologist (Pollak), Ruby finds the determination to overcome all obstacles. This is a truly uplifting story of one girl's courage.

Get On the Bus - Thursday, February 6th, 2003

Released on the one-year anniversary of the Million Man March, GET ON THE BUS follows nearly 20 African Americans as they ride a bus cross-country to attend the historic event in Washington, DC. The passengers--a diverse group of Los Angeles-based men--include a bickering gay couple, a pompous (and disliked) Republican, a Spike Lee-esque film student, a vain actor, and a quarrelsome father and son who are literally shackled to each other by court order. The fascinating and enlightening discussions between the men shed light on numerous issues concerning the African American community and enrich their lives in the process.

TAMIU's Office of Student Health Services and the Laredo Department of Health will host the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Webcast, on Friday February 7, at 12:00 p.m., in Bob Bullock Hall 104. The webcast is part of a distinguished lecture series, sponsored by the African-American HIV/AIDS Prevention Network, and will feature four prominent speakers:

* Dr. Shaffdeen A. Amuwo, Midwestern Prevention Intervention Center, Chicago, Illinois

* Dr. Darrell P Wheeler, Northwestern Prevention Intervention Center, New York, New York

* Dr. Ellen Yancy, Southern Prevention Intervention Center, Jackson, Mississippi

* Dr. S. Walden Miller, Western Prevention Intervention Center, Rancho Dominguez, California

In addition, Jaime Garza and the staff of the Laredo Department of Health will provide relevant litereature both at the webcast and at the Student Center, room 216 and 217 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. where they will conduct HIV/AIDS Screening and testing.

The second week of activities will begin with a Panel Discussion entitled "Immigration and Adaptation Experiences of African Professionals in the U.S.," to be held on Monday, February 10 at 12 p.m. in the Western Hemispheric Trade Center (WHTC), room 103. Dr. Peter Haruna (Ghana), assistant professor of public administration and session organizer, will be joined by Drs. Archibald Laud-Hammond (Ghana), adjunct faculty in philosophy, Mohammed Ben Ruwin (Libya), assistant professor of political science, and Ezra S. Engling (Jamaica), professor of Spanish.

The Women's and Gender Studies (WSGT) committee has graciously surrendered their Brown Bag Lunch hour on Wednesday, February 12 to Dr. Phoebe Godfrey, assistant professor of sociology. Dr Phoebe will speak on the topic "An Introduction to Audre Lourde"at 12 p.m. in Bob Bullock Hall, room 101. Dr. Godfry will speak on this activist, with specific reference to black women.

At 11 a.m. on Monday, February 17, Dr. Hamid Kusha, associate professor of criminal justice will present a lecture entitled "The Crimogenic Impact of Incarceration on African-American Communities," in WHTC 103.

On Tuesday, February 18, the University Village will host a multimedia presentation by Dr. Ezra S. Engling, entitled "Bob Marley: Reggae Activist," in the University Village at 7 p.m. An extract of this lecture will appear in the February issue of The Bridge, the student newspaper at TAMIU.

Jazz musicians/band members, Drs. Michael Yoder, associate professor of geology, Kevin Lindberg, assistant professor of English, and Richard Wright, assistant professor of art history, will pool their talents and experiences in a session titled "Jazz in/and Laredo." See them on Wednesday, February 19, at 7 p.m. in WHTC, room 116.

On Thursday, February 20, Dr. José Cardona, associate professor of Spanish, will present a Poetry Reading on "Afro Hispanic Voices: Nicolas Guillen," at 12 p.m. in WHTC, room 103 with a discussion to follow.

On Monday, February 24, Drs. Stanley Green, professor of history, and Christy Teranishi, assistant professor of psychology, will pool their research interests to present a discussion on "Afro-Hispanic Relations: In the Nationa and at Home." The presentation will be at 12 p.m. in the WHTC, room 116 and will examine the topic from a national and Laredoan perspective.

Dr. James Norris, assistant professor of political science, will present some reflections on a controversial topic. His presentation is entitled "Affirmative Action Revisted," and will be given on Tuesday, February 25 at 7 p.m. in WHTC, room 116.

The final presentation for the month will feature Dr. Phoebe Godfrey. On February 26, she will give a lecture, "Mumia Abu Jamal: The Case for Reasonable Doubt," at 12 p.m., in WHTC, room 116.

For more information about Black History Month at TAMIU, please contact Dr. Ezra Engling at 326.2648, visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 435B, or e-mail engling@tamiu.edu. University office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. (click here for a calendar of events)


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu