Throughout February, William Woods University will celebrate and honor Black History Month. The university has planned events that celebrate African-American history in Missouri, sports, equestrian life and its influence on American culture. All are free and open to the public.
The first event, “History of the Black Jockey,” explores the early dominance of African-Americans within the world of horse racing and helps to explain why they became obsolete. The event takes place at 1 p.m. Feb. 6 in the Library Auditorium.
Later in the week, students will be given the opportunity to witness the rise of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion and his controversial behavior in the film “Unforgivable Blackness.” Part of the African-American History Month Film and Documentary Series, it airs at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 in the Library Auditorium.
On Feb. 21, high school and college students from the surrounding areas will present original literary pieces dealing with social issues within America at 6:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.
The featured presenter, Jessie Adolph, a candidate for a master’s degree in English at the University of Missouri, will discuss and showcase his published poems that deal with African-American literature and its impact on Hip Hop.
Brett Rogers, adjunct history professor at WWU, has worked more than 20 years gathering information about the Missouri African-American experience. On Feb. 22, at 3:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium, Rogers will present this findings in “‘Invisible,’ Black and at Risk,” as he explores black cultural resources in Missouri.
The final event of the month is “Hoop Dreams,” a documentary that follows Arthur Agee and William Gates over a six-year period as they are recruited to a white
suburban high school to play basketball.
The movie, which will air at 7 p.m. Feb. 22, in the Library Auditorium, explores urban life and the constant struggles of race, social status, education and athletics in America today.
For more information and a complete list of Black History Month activities at William Woods, contact Tammy Carter, WWU coordinator of multicultural affairs, at (573) 592-4358.