posted January 28, 2002

Activities for Black History Month

Hope College has scheduled a series of activities in commemoration of national Black History Month.

The public is invited to all of the events. Admission is free.

The events will begin with the keynote address "Back to Black: Bridging the Generation Gap," presented by Dr. Oba T'Shaka on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium. T'Shaka is professor and chair of the Black Studies Department at San Francisco State University in Oakland, Calif. A reception will follow.

The college's Black Film Series/Dialogue on Race will present "Union Navy" on Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m., exploring the history of African Americans and their role in the United States Navy. The series will also present "The State of Black America" on Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 7 p.m., discussing the present-day social conditions of the African American community. Both events will take place in the Maas Center conference room.

"Step Afrika!" will perform on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre. "Step Afrika!" is a collaborative project between young artists from the United States, Europe and the South Africa-based Soweto Dance Theater, and was established to promote appreciation for the cultural art form of "stepping" and its linkages to art forms around the world.

In addition, Hope will host the second annual Ottawa Area Summit on Racism on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The day- long event, sponsored by the Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, is featuring the theme "Be More Than An Open Mind... Be There." Additional information may be obtained by calling (616) 846-9074 or on-line at www.ethnicdiversity.org.

T'Shaka has been chair of the Black Studies Department at San Francisco State University since 1984. His expertise includes ancient African history, African American history, African philosophy, Black political theory, and African and African American leadership traditions.

He is the author of four books: "The Political Legacy of Malcolm X"; "The Art of Leadership," Volume I and Volume II; and "Return to the African Mother Principle of Male Female Equality," Volume I. He is the author of numerous articles, and has had work in publications including "The Black Scholar," "Black Books Bulletin," "The Journal of Black Poetry," "Black Dialogue," "The Journal of African Civilization" and the "Journal of Black Studies."

T'Shaka has been active in Black freedom movements since 1960. From 1963 to 1965, he was chair of San Francisco CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), which spearheaded a campaign for jobs for Blacks and other peoples of color in San Francisco and throughout California. He led an international work project to Tanzania made up of members of the Pan African People's Organization (P.A.P.O.) in 1963, and in 1974 played a major leadership role in the Sixth Pan African Congress, in Tanzania, chairing the North American Political Committee.

He is currently national vice chair for organizing and training for the National Black United Front (NBUF), and is co-chair of BUFFER (Black United Front for Educational Reform).

He holds a doctorate in education from WISR (Western Institute for Social Research), in Berkeley.