Posted by Mary Wimberley on 2015-02-02

Samford University will host a variety of lectures and presentations during February in honor of Black History Month.  The programs are sponsored by Samford’s Office of Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives.

In addition to several lectures and a panel discussion, the schedule includes two film screenings, an African dance class and a sickle cell education booth.  Most events are free and open to the public.

The sickle cell booth in the dining hall from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 will help educate the Samford community about the disease, according to Diversity and Intercultural Initiatives director Denise Gregory.

“In the United States, it is estimated that sickle cell anemia affects 70,000-100,000 people, mainly African Americans,” Gregory said, adding that the condition also affects Hispanic Americans.  “More than two million Americans have the sickle cell trait.”

Other events during the month:

Feb. 5                    Convocation in Reid Chapel at 10 a.m. featuring Leroy Barber, global executive director of Word Made Flesh. Barber’s topic will be "Diversity in Missions". At 12:10 p.m., he will speak to Beeson Divinity students in a Global Voices seminar in Divinity Hall room N101.

Feb. 10                 Screening of the documentary, Thunder Soul, which celebrates the popular 1970s Kashmere Stage Band and a reunion of band members to play a tribute concert for their beloved band leader.   The event in Christenberry Planetarium is planned as a private screening for Samford music ensemble students.

Feb. 17                 Convocation in Reid Chapel at 10 a.m. featuring John King, Jr., associate executive director for church and community relations, Birmingham Baptist Association, and senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church.  He is a member of the Samford Board of Trustees.

The documentary, STAND! Untold Stories from the Civil Rights Movement, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in Christenberry Planetarium.  The film chronicles the key events that led to the selection of Birmingham as the site for “Project C” (Project Confrontation) in 1963. Samford students can receive convocation credit for the event.

Feb. 19                 African American Studies specialist DeReef Jamison and area pastors will lead a program entitled "Cultural Conversation:  A Discussion of Civil Rights and the Police, Respectability Politics and the Black American in the Media".  Jamison, a visiting professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Department of African American Studies, is the author of Perspectives in African American History and Culture: An Introductory Reader. The program will be in Brooks Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 20                 Cumberland School of Law's Thurgood Marshall Symposium will present Harvard Law School professor Kenneth W. Mack and Jefferson County circuit court judge Helen Shores Lee. Mack will discuss his recent biography of African American lawyers working in the era of segregation, Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer. Lee will present details from her book, The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill, about her father, Arthur Shores Lee, and his civil rights-related legal battles.   The program, hosted by Cumberland's Black Law Students Association, will be at 10 a.m. in the moot courtroom of Robinson Hall law building.

Feb. 24                 A Lunch and Learn will feature DeReef Jamison speaking on the topic "Hip Hop, Masculinity and Cultural Identity".   The event will be at 11:30 a.m. in Beeson University Center’s Howard Room.  The meal is free, but reservations are required.  Register here.

Feb. 25                 Nathifa Dance Company will present an African dance aerobics class in Bashinsky Field House room 103 at 7 p.m.  The Birmingham-based company was established in 1992 to educate, entertain and develop the gift of the arts through African dance and drum rhythm.

For more information on any Black History Month event, email

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.