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Black History Month events planned

AT THE EAGLE:

Here at the Oxford EAGLE we plan to spotlight a different predominantly black neighborhood in the city of Oxford limits and into Lafayette County each Sunday. We will focus on the history of the neighborhoods and the residents that live in them. If you know of someone interesting for us to feature or someone who has helped pave the way for fellow residents, contact us at news@oxfordeagle.com.

Black History Month is officially upon us and there are plenty of options for learning and celebrating a diverse history and culture here in Lafayette County.

The University of Mississippi has a variety of events planned, starting today with a kickoff celebration from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Fulton Chapel hosted by the Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement and Black History Month Planning Committee.

The traditional ceremony will feature Kiese Laymon, 2015-2016 Grisham Writer in Residence, as the keynote speaker and there will be selections from the UM Gospel Choir, remarks from Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter, and the presentation of the Lift Every Voice Awards by Dr. Donald Cole.

Tuesday will bring the event “Good or Bad Hair” at 7 p.m. in Bishop Hall Room 209. UM describes the event, hosted by E.S.T.E.E.M. as “a panel of stylists and university community members as well as clips from Good Hair and School Daze — this event will focus on the history and influence black hair has had on society.”

Also to kick off the month is the Continuing the Legacy Walk on Thursday from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at Union Plaza, hosted by Men of Excellence.

“The Continuing the Legacy Walk will lead students to various locations that served as relevant sites in relation to the admission of James Meredith, the first African-American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi,” the school website says. “At each stop, there will be 62 seconds of moment of silence to represent the year of his enrollment, 1962.”

If a movie is more your thing, “Selma” will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Turner Center.

“Blues, Bebop, and Black History: Poetry and Prose of the Sterling Plumpp Collection” is from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday at the JD Williams Library, featuring a discussion on the life of Sterling Plumpp, one of the country’s distinguished blues-jazz poets.

Pop culture your thing? Check out Tupac Monologue from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Feb. 9 in Union 405 to learn more about hip-hop culture and it’s effect on change in America.

The keynote event for the entire month is at 6 p.m. Feb. 29 in Fulton Chapel with social activist Alicia Garza.

Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained from the UM Box Office in the Ole Miss Student Union beginning today.

“Over the years, notable African-Americans such as Cornel West, Marian Wright Edelman, Michael Eric Dyson and Myrlie Evers-Williams have been invited to provide the Black History Month keynote address,” said Shawnboda Mead, director of UM’s Center for Inclusion and Cross Cultural Engagement. “We believe Ms. Garza will be equally as dynamic and that she will provide a very memorable experience for everyone in attendance.”

Garza will discuss items such as the Black Lives Matter movement that surfaced in the past year.

“It’s essential to recognize that the Black Lives Matter movement has never asserted that other lives don’t matter,” Mead said. “In fact, the primary intent is to build connections between black people and allies, to fight anti-black racism, to encourage dialogue, social action and engagement.

“As our university strives to be a leader in racial reconciliation and inclusivity, this year’s keynote address is a continuation of our educational efforts. Therefore, we look forward to engaging with Ms. Garza and learning more about the founding, as well as the guiding principles, of Black Lives Matter.”

Dozens of other events are planned throughout the month at the university alone. For a full calendar of events to find what interests you most, visit news.olemiss.edu/um-announces-black-history-month-observances/.