Black History Month Celebrates Efforts of the Niagara Movement

Posted: January 31, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

This year’s Black History Month celebration at George Mason focuses on the Niagara Movement, a turn-of-the-century effort to promote racial justice that was led by W.E.B. DuBois. The movement also aimed to counteract the racially conservative philosophy of the Tuskegee Institute’s Booker T. Washington, who gained national attention when he outlined his proposal of racial accommodation in 1895. The Niagara Movement promoted eight principles that laid the foundation for the Harlem Renaissance era and the creation of the NAACP.

A musical event will usher in a month filled with panel discussions, lectures, performances, and films. Presented by the African American Studies Program and Department of Music, “The Niagara Movement: Reflections on the Talented Tenth” will be held tomorrow at 8 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall. The program features the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir; cast members from the Theater of the First Amendment production, Open the Door, Virginia!, and its director/creator/choreographer Dianne McIntyre; and students from the Music and Dance Departments.

The annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. takes place on Thursday, Feb. 3, beginning with a student engagement dialogue at 10:30 a.m. in the Johnson Center, Robeson Room. At 1:10 p.m., there will be a symbolic march from Dewberry Hall to Harris Theatre, followed by a commemorative program at 1:30 p.m. that includes the presentation of the Spirit of King Awards to a faculty member and a student.

Other highlights from the month include the following:

  • A panel discussion, “Remembering the Road to Brown v. Board of Education: Then and Now,” takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema. The panel features Larry Earl, manager of planning and administration for the Historic Area Division of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Frank Manheim, professor of public policy; Toni-Michelle Travis, associate professor of public and international affairs; Roger Wilkins, Robinson Professor of History and American Culture, and Steven Oberlander, sociology student.
  • The annual W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture is on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 1:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema. This year’s speaker is William Harvey, director of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity of the American Council on Higher Education. Recipients of the Dennis-Weathers Award will be recognized at this event.
  • On Friday, Feb. 18, at the Arlington Campus in the Law School Atrium, African American scholars and practitioners in the legal field will discuss “The Impact of the Niagara Movement on African Americans and the Law.” Sponsored by the Black Law Student Association, the event takes place at 6 p.m.
  • Author and professor Tricia Rose will speak on “Intimate Justice” on Thursday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema. She will discuss the issues of interracial dating, color hierarchies, and the sexual double-standards for black women.

For details on films, soul food lunches, Greek events, and other activities planned for the month, visit the Office of Diversity Programs and Services web site.

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