TAMIU Professor Brings Black History to Life in Song Feb. 21
Posted: 2/16/12

TAMIU Professor Brings Black History
to life through Gospel Music Feb. 21

Israel Peniel
Dr. Israel Peniel will make a special presentation Tuesday, Feb. 21 for Black History Month.

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) assistant professor of education Dr. Israel Peniel will take audience members on a journey through Black History buoyed by the sounds of gospel music Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 6:15 p.m. in the TAMIU Student Center Theater, room 236. 

"Songs for Freedom:  Black History Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," is the first offering of its kind at TAMIU, is free of charge and open to the public. It is sponsored by TAMIU’s Office of Student Affairs.

Dr. Peniel’s one-man show will borrow from his own personal experience to weave together a unique teaching presentation that blends history with music.

“I will share my experience of having seen America change over the years from having existing Jim Crow laws to the present-day progression of having our first African-American president, Barrack Obama,” Dr. Peniel explained.

“I’ll share the heartfelt songs that kept Negro slaves alive and filled with hope of one day being free…up to the present-day of contemporary gospel music that appeals to our youth,” Peniel added.

He said he will share the experience of growing up in the Deep South in a segregated society deeply rooted in racism, when Blacks were considered second-class citizens. 

“I’ll tell you about having to pay your bus fare and move to the back of the bus to find a seat.  About how it felt to not be able to sit and eat your food inside the establishment of a restaurant, only to be told you had to take it out.  How it felt to be directed to drink water from a water fountain designated for ‘Colored’ people only or face the consequences of Jim Crow laws if you choose to drink from the water fountain labeled ‘White,’ ” he recalled.

Originally from Tampa, Florida, Dr. Peniel has over 30 years of teaching experience and is an assistant professor for TAMIU’s College of Education, department of Special Education -Professional Programs.  He is a gifted writer, singer, musician and teacher and provides inspiration and hope to all. 

For additional information, contact the TAMIU Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, email prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

University information is also available online at tamiu.edu and at its social media sites on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  A smartphone and tablet app is also available for free download from the University’s website at www.tamiu.edu

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