Artistic Events at Kent State Geauga and Twinsburg Academic Center Celebrate Black History Month 2023

This year, Black History Month is being celebrated February 1- March 1, 2023. The annual observance reminds us of significant African Americans and how they impacted historical events. The 2023 national theme, “Black Resistance,” explores how African Americans have addressed historic and ongoing disadvantage and oppression since the nation's founding.

Notably, the first-ever month-long celebration of Black history was established at Kent State University. In February 1970, Kent State students, faculty, and administration set aside the month of February to celebrate Black history—six years before it became a national holiday in 1976.

In our ongoing and proud tradition, we invite you to join us for artistic Black History Month presentations by Kent State Geauga and the Twinsburg Academic Center, February 16 - March 14. These events are open to the public. Students may earn extra credit for attendance; check first with your instructor(s).

Two virtual events and one in-person event pay tribute to generations of African Americans whose contributions to visual art, dance, and film continue to enrich our lives.

Virtual Event: African American Artists

Thursday, Feb. 16, 12-1pm

Location: Geauga Campus Clark Commons and Twinsburg Academic Center RM 136 & via Zoom

The lives of African American artists lend insight into the context of their works. Learn about the diverse body of artwork created by African American artists and the historical, social, and cultural events—as well as the life experiences—that inspired their work.

Videoconference presenters from the Smithsonian Art Museum in Washington, D.C. will show American artworks from the museum’s collection using a green screen. Through inquiry-based questions and discussion, presenters will engage with participants as they explore artworks together.


Virtual Event: Black Dance Evolution

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 12-1pm

Location: Geauga Campus Clark Commons and Twinsburg Academic Center RM 136 & via Zoom

Teaching Artist Karla Nweje from The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota, will pose provocative questions in this videoconference: What can the dances of a group of people tell you about them? How are the dances of a cultural group influenced by geographical changes and by the passage of time?

Through the lens of their body percussion and other unique expressions of rhythm and song, students will discover a powerful cultural and historical bridge between Africa and the U.S. The adventure proceeds from the Lowcountry to the Northeastern U.S. Students will learn and celebrate with pre-Hip Hop party dances, where the dance voyage concludes.


Live Event: Screening of “A Death in The City

Tuesday, March 14, 12:15 - 2pm

Location: Twinsburg Academic Center RM 136

Cleveland filmmaker Marquette Williams invites you to a screening of his new film focused on racial unrest from local history. On April 7, 1964, Rev. Bruce Klunder, age 26, was killed during a protest in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. A full decade after the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision, the city’s schools were more segregated and inequitable than ever.

Local playwright Faye Sholiton began interviewing people who recalled those troubled years involving Cleveland Public Schools. Their testimonies informed her 2017 play, “A Death in the City.” Now, the play has been adapted into Williams’ film, starring storyteller Sherrie Tolliver and featuring archival film footage.

Kent State Geauga Dean Angela Spalsbury invites all to attend these Black History Month events. She says, “Each of these programs grapples with Black Resistance through artistic expression, provoking each of us to gain fresh interpretations of historic and current events.”

POSTED: Wednesday, February 15, 2023 04:05 PM
Updated: Monday, March 27, 2023 07:03 AM
Estelle R. Brown