Celebrating Black History Month

Issue Date: 
February 9, 2015

The University of Pittsburgh is hosting the community, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and special guests for a number of events in February to mark Black History Month. The event schedule follows, with highlights including a film screening, insightful lectures, and the annual K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program.

Monday, Feb. 9, 8:30 p.m., William Pitt Union Assembly Room

Pitt Distinguished Professor of History Marcus Rediker will introduce a screening of his documentary Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels, produced by Tony Buba and based on Rediker’s book The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom (Penguin, 2012). The film is free and open to the public. It chronicles a journey to Sierra Leone in 2013, when Rediker visited the home villages of the rebels who captured the slave schooner Amistad in 1839. He interviewed the town elders and local fishermen about the incident and helped search for the ruins of a slave-trading factory where the cruel transatlantic voyage began. A question-and-answer session will follow.

Thursday, Feb. 19

See information for dinner event, hosted by Dining Services, and The K. Leroy Irvis Black History Month Program, hosted by Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher, on page 6.

Monday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m., Alumni Hall, Seventh-Floor Auditorium

Brown University scholar and author Tricia Rose will deliver a lecture titled “Fighting Racism in a Color-Blind Era.” Rose is the author of Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Wesleyan, 1994), which is considered to be the foundational text for the study of hip hop. A professor of Africana studies and the director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University, Rose also authored The Hip Hop Wars: What We Talk About When We Talk About Hip Hop-–and Why It Matters (Basic Civitas Books, 2008). She hosts workshops for scholarly and general audiences on a wide range of issues relating to race in America, mass media, structural inequality, popular culture, gender and sexuality, art, and social justice. The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Pitt’s Premedical Organization for Minority Students and the National Society for Black Engineers. 

Wednesday, Feb. 25, noon, 2017 Cathedral of Learning

David Harris, Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Pitt professor of law, will deliver a lecture titled “The Collision of Race and Criminal Justice: Lessons from the Aftermath of Ferguson.” Harris frequently lectures, writes, and teaches about police behavior and regulation, law enforcement, and national security issues and the law. His book Profiles in Injustice: Why Racial Profiling Cannot Work (New Press, 2003) and his scholarly articles about traffic stops of minority motorists and stops and frisks of minority pedestrians are influencing the national debate on profiling and related topics. His presentation, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Center on Race and Social Problems Reed Smith Spring 2015 Speaker Series.