A hip-hop conference will be among the events featured at California State University, Northridge’s Black History Month celebration this year.
Activist and rapper Boots Riley of the group, The Coup; former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown; and Olmeca, an MC and activist who has garnered attention in the Latin Alternative scene, are some of the participants in the Department of Pan African Studies and the Hip-Hop Think Tank’s two-day conference titled, “Bridging the Gaps: Hip-Hop in the Age of Mass Incarceration and Deportation.”
The conference will take place at CSUN’s University Student Union on Feb. 20 and 21. It will highlight the issues around data that finds minorities are incarcerated at disproportionately higher rates than whites. For more information or to register, visit the Hip-Hop Think Tank’s page.
“Black History Month is a marker and reminder of promoting and sustaining, historical memory of the experiences of Africans and African-Americans in the Americas and across the diaspora,” said Cedric Hackett, assistant chair of the Department of Pan African Studies. “I would encourage folks to support the events.”
The monthlong celebration, which is themed, “Building CommUNITY from Generation to Generation,” will kick off on Feb. 5 with a black organization and club fair in the Plaza del Sol from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Various organizations including the Department of Pan African Students, the Black Student Union and the Black Alumni Association will be available to provide information. That same day there will be a hip-hop dance class led by Benjamin Allen and DJ Kevin Cider from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in Redwood Hall 292; from 4 to 6:45 p.m., the Rev. James Lawson, a noted civil rights leader, will discuss “Soul Force: Nonviolent Personal Power as Social Change” in the Oviatt Library’s Jack and Florence Ferman Presentation Room; and the Hip-Hop Think Tank will present Immortal Technique from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Grand Salon.
Aimee Glocke, a professor in the Department of Pan African Studies and coordinator of the event, said the theme reflects the effort to bring the elders and young people together.
“The elders can continue to ensure that the young people have the foundation they need to build for the future,” she said.
Other events scheduled for the celebration include:
• Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. in the USU Northridge Center – film screening of “Bilal’s Stand,” followed by reception and discussion with producer and director Sultan Sharrief.
• Feb. 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the USU Grand Salon – film screening “Storm at Valley State.”
• Feb. 13 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the USU Granada Room – “Where is Our Place in the Rainbow? Same Gender Loving Africans in the African Diasporic World.”
• Feb. 19 at 12:30 to 2 p.m. in Sierra Hall Whitsett Room – “Africology Online: Rescuing and Reconstructing in Cyberspace” presented by Itibari M. Zulu, senior editor of the Journal of Pan African Studies.
• Feb. 23 – CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison and Vice President of Student Affairs William Watkins ’74 (Urban Studies) will speak at two local churches. President Harrison will speak at the 10:45 a.m. service at H.O.P.E.’s House Christian Ministries (10654 Balboa Blvd., Granada Hills, CA 91344), and Vice President Watkins will speak at the 11 a.m. service at the Living Praise Christian Center (9200 Owensmouth Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311).
• Feb. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the USU Grand Salon – “Professors and Alumni: After Hours,” sponsored by the BSU, Black Alumni Association and Department of PAS.
• Feb. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. in Oviatt 125 – “Covering Greatness: The Life and Death of Nelson Mandela,” sponsored by CSUN’s NABJ-SABC, A.S. and the USU.
• Feb. 28 from 8:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the USU Northridge Center – the Harambee High School Student Conference, sponsored by CSUN’s Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Harambee Student Association.
Cal State Northridge’s Department of Pan African Studies is one of the oldest and largest black studies programs in the nation. The department was officially formed in 1969 as the Afro-American Studies Department. It was organized in the wake of campus protests and the mass arrest of hundreds of students who were angry about the treatment of students of color.
For more information about the Black History Month celebration, contact the Department of Pan African Studies at (818) 677-3311 or email Aimee Glocke.