West Virginia State University Celebrates Black History Month with Series of Events

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363
Jan. 29, 2015
West Virginia State University Celebrates Black History Month with Series of Events

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – West Virginia State University (WVSU) will celebrate Black History Month with a variety of events, including presentations, lectures and performances, throughout February.

This year’s events include discussions about current topics relating to social justice, like police and minority relations, and feature performances by hip hop artist Dee-1 and “Avatar” choreographer Lula Washington and her Los Angeles based dance ensemble.

The month-long series of Black History Month events will be held on the school’s Institute campus, as well as at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia in Charleston.

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who served as Academic Dean at WVSU from 1920 to 1922, founded Negro History Week in 1926, which later became Black History Month in 1976. WVSU honors the legacy of Woodson and the contributions of African-Americans to our nation and beyond through this year’s Black History Month programing.

Details of all events are available online and include:
  • A presentation by the President of the National Bar Association, Attorney Pamela J. Meanes;
  • WVSU Student Government Association Black History Month Convocation featuring David Augustine, Jr., better known as Dee-1; and
  • A performance by Lula Washington Dance Theatre, a Los Angeles based dance ensemble.
Meanes, President of the National Bar Association, will speak Monday, Feb. 9, at 6:30 p.m. in the James C. Wilson University Union. She is currently a partner with St. Louis' largest law firm, Thompson Coburn.

As President of the National Bar Association, Meanes has been a vocal advocate for federal investigations into police violence against minorities across the country. Her work has proven instrumental for maintaining the public’s attention on this issue while also pursuing the legal steps necessary to see that justice occurs. She has been featured speaking about this issue in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (304) 766-3076 or email kshaw1@wvstateu.edu.

WVSU will present the world-renowned Lula Washington Dance Theatre Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. at The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences Maier Foundation Performance Hall.

Well-known as the choreographer for James Cameron’s film “Avatar,” Washington has been a creative force in dance, education and community development for 35 years. Her work incorporates the dance styles of gospel church, classical ballet, modern, street, theatrical and hip-hop. Critics praise Washington for her artistry, social commentary and roots in African-American culture.

This event is free to WVSU students and employees with ID. The cost of tickets is $20/$15, and for senior citizens and non-WVSU students, $15/$10. For more information, call (304) 741-0925 or the Clay Center Box Office at (304) 561-3570.

The WVSU Student Government Association (SGA) will present its annual Black History Month Convocation Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. in the P.A. Williams Auditorium, located on the second floor of Ferrell Hall.

This event will feature David Augustine Jr., better known as Dee-1, a rapper and former middle school math teacher from Louisiana. He has released three mixtapes: “It’s Only Tha Beginning,” “Still We Rise” and “I Am Who I Am” and has been featured in national media outlets like CNN and Billboard Magazine. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (304) 741-0925 or email rwolfe@wvstateu.edu.

For more information about these and other events recognizing Black History Month at or supported by WVSU, visit www.wvstateu.edu/culturalactivities.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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