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Black History Month activities unveiled

February 7, 2007
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Jeff Johnson, host of the BET channel’s "The Jeff Johnson Chronicles," will present "Construction Before Destruction with Cousin Jeff" at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, in Parents Hall North, Olmsted Center.

In recognition of Black History Month, Drake's Coalition of Black Students has organized several special events, free and open to the public, highlighting the history, culture and accomplishments of African-Americans.

This year’s theme for Drake’s Black History Month activities is "Africa, my Africa…I have never known you, but my face is full of your blood," inspired by the poetry of David Diop, a French West African poet from the 1950s.

The month kicked off with the history of the Coalition of Black Students by Wanda Everage, vice provost for academic excellence, Feb. 1. Lasana Hotep, founder of a national consultant group that specializes in the retention of students of color in higher education, discussed the history of hip hop Feb. 7.

Jeff Johnson, host of the BET channel’s "The Jeff Johnson Chronicles," will present "Construction Before Destruction with Cousin Jeff" at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, in Parents Hall North, Olmsted Center.

In his programming, Johnson creates intergenerational dialogue between civil rights leaders and the hip-hop generation. His lifestyle consulting firm, Truth is Power, specializes in leadership and curriculum development, media strategy and social branding about issues related to race, politics, popular culture and socio-economics.

"The Jeff Johnson Chronicles" addresses issues relevant to young people in urban America, providing a newer venue to engage youth in current affairs and issues in a way not seen since BET's highly successful and groundbreaking forum "Teen Summit." Johnson was the only American reporter to receive an exclusive interview with Africa's first female head of state, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia.

"This is a great opportunity to educate the campus on all of the great accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history," said Deidre Howard, student organizer and member of the Coalition of Black Students.

Black History Month will also include several forums featuring Drake students, alumni and Des Moines community members. "Am I Black Enough?," a panel discussion that will address how to define blackness, will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, on Pomerantz Stage, Olmsted Center. "I Am Not My Hair" will be held Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Bulldog Theater. A lecture titled "Does Racism Still Exist?" will be presented at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, on Pomerantz Stage.

Members of the Coalition of Black Students will prepare home-cooked soul food to be offered free of charge for the public at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25, at the Black Cultural Center, 1149 28th St.