Black History Month Special Events, Thursday, Feb. 19

Issue Date: 
February 9, 2015

Black History Month

Special Events, Thursday, Feb. 19

The evening will begin with a dinner hosted by Pitt’s Dining Services. The K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, hosted by Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, will follow. 

4-6 p.m., Market Central, Litchfield Towers

The University of Pittsburgh Dining Services will present “Our Journey, Our Cuisine. A Taste of History: African, Caribbean, and Soul Food.” African drummers, dancers, and musicians will provide the backdrop for this celebratory meal, with dishes prepared by guest chef Ericlee Reed and Pitt chef Devon Horne. The event is by invitation. 

6:30 p.m., Twentieth Century Club

The dinner will be followed by the University’s 2015 K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, a by-invitation event to be held in the Twentieth Century Club, 4201 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland. Chancellor Gallagher will host “An Artistic Journey through the African American Experience”—an evening of poetry, music, and reflection, which will pay tribute to three distinguished individuals:

Doris Brevard (EDUC ’52), a librarian and teacher at the former Robert L. Vann School in the Hill District, who served as the school’s principal from 1969-1995. Under her leadership, Vann students—many of them Black and from poor families—achieved successes at some of the highest levels within the Pittsburgh Public Schools. Brevard earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Pitt in 1952. 

Roger Humphries, who is described by music critics as one of the most exciting jazz drummers in the business. Playing professionally since age 14, Humphries toured and recorded with the Horace Silver Quartet and accompanied many jazz greats, including Ray Charles, Lionel Hampton, and Dizzy Gillespie.

Sala Udin, a politician and activist who for 11 years represented his childhood neighborhood, the Hill District, on Pittsburgh City Council. A lifelong community organizer, Udin oversaw new housing construction throughout Pittsburgh; led the fundraising, design, and construction of Freedom Corner; and, most recently, served as CEO of the Coro Center.

The evening’s program will feature readings and performances by:

Geri Allen, pianist, composer, and director of Pitt’s Jazz Studies Program; 

Larry E. Davis, dean, Pitt School of Social Work; 

Terrance Hayes, celebrated poet and 2014 MacArthur Fellow, Pitt professor of English;

Yona Harvey, literary artist and assistant professor in Pitt’s Writing Program;

Bria Walker, actress, singer, writer, and guest lecturer in Pitt’s Department of Theatre Arts; 

The Afro American Music Institute Boys’ Choir; and

Some of God’s Children Gospel Choir, University of Pittsburgh.