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STLCC-Forest Park Celebrates African-American Heritage

January 30, 2015

Clarence Lang  
Clarence Lang

St. Louis Community College-Forest Park will celebrate African-American History Month with a schedule full of lectures, presentations and readings throughout February.

The kickoff celebration will take place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3 in the Cafeteria in the Student Center on the Forest Park campus, 5600 Oakland Ave.

The first presentation, Thursday, Feb. 5, will feature Clarence Lang, Ph.D., associate professor, African and African-American studies and American studies from the University of Kansas. He will discuss “In the Face of Ferguson: Writing the Civil Rights Movement, Occupying History and the Shadows of the Sixties,” building on his previous work on African-American social movements in St. Louis and how ongoing events reflect unresolved popular and scholarly discourses about the post-World War II historical phenomenon known as the “60s.” The presentation will be held 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Theatre Room 100.

Allen Jones, adjunct instructor at Forest Park, will continue the celebration with his presentations on the “Origin of the Word ‘Nigger’– Its Sacred Meaning,” along with John L. Johnson, Th.D., D.D., from Johnson Books Inc., Tuesday, Feb. 10, and “The Nile Valley Origin of Mathematics and Metrology,” Wednesday, Feb. 11.  Both presentations will be held 11 a.m.-noon in the Student Center’s Café East.

Priscilla Dowden-White  
Pricilla Dowden-White

“Groping Toward Democracy; African-America Social Welfare Reform in St. Louis (1910-1949)” will be the topic of a presentation by Pricilla A. Dowden-White, Ph.D., associate professor in the History department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Student Center’s Café East.

Rasheed Aldridge, community activist and member of Gov. Jay Nixon’s Ferguson Commission, will lead a discussion about the minimum wage struggle 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the Student Center’s Café East.

On Thursday, Feb. 19, representatives from the Missouri Highway Patrol, St. Louis Police Training Academy and William Tucker, Esq., assistant professor and Criminal Justice program coordinator at Forest Park, will discuss racial profiling from their perspective as three African-American professionals who are intimately involved in the law enforcement area. The panel discussion will take place 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in the Student Center’s Café East.

The celebration will conclude with a Reader’s Theatre production “Wrapped in Rainbows.” This production features African-American poetry, prose and drama. It is compiled and directed by Carla Moody, associate professor in communications and mass communications at Forest Park. Performances will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19; 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20; and 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21.  All performances will be held in the Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts - T-204.

African-American History Month celebrates the contributions that African-Americans have made to American history. African-American History Month had its origins in 1915 when historian and author Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African- American Life and History. Through this organization, Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in

February 1926. Woodson selected the week in February that included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two key figures in the history of African-Americans.

All events are free and open to the public. Special accommodations are available for persons with disabilities by calling 314-644-9039.

Rasheed Aldridge  
Rasheed Aldridge is a member of the Ferguson Commission who will discuss issues surrounding the minimum wage laws Feb. 17 during STLCC-Forest Park's African-American History celebration.