DCC Events to Mark Black History Month

January 21, 2015 – An evening of cultural dance, a Kwanzaa celebration and a program about traditional African percussion are just a few of the activities Dutchess Community College is offering to celebrate Black History Month. Activities will be held at DCC’s Poughkeepsie campus. All are free and open to the public.

DCC’s celebration of Kwanzaa will be held Feb. 3 at 12:30 p.m. in Dutchess Hall, room 101. The college community will celebrate the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self Determination, Creative Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.

A Lyceum presentation, “Rhythm and Identity,” by internationally noted percussionist Baba Neil Clarke, will be held Feb. 12 at 12:30 p.m. in the James and Betty Hall Theatre in Dutchess Hall. Clarke will explore the structure and foundations of the rhythmic dimensions of African culture and their use in contemporary music contexts.

The Cultural Dance Expressions performance is another popular event, scheduled for Feb. 21,
4 to 6 p.m., in the James and Betty Hall Theatre in Dutchess Hall. The show will incorporate both classic and modern dance genres. Dance troupes, teams and individuals will perform African, Caribbean, Liturgical, Modern, Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop and other popular styles.

The full list of DCC Black History Month activities is below and on the events calendar at www.sunydutchess.edu.

For more information, contact co-chairpersons of the DCC Black History Month Committee, Carmen McGill at (845) 431-8017 or Yvonne Flowers at (845) 431-8074.



Thursday, January 29, 6-8 p.m.
“Beyond Ferguson” Community Forum
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
This is a continuation of a series of forums held at DCC after the grand jury did not indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and others. There will be a panel that will include representatives from law enforcement, the community, students and faculty. The forum will focus on the lessons learned, how they affect our immediate community and what we can do to help make positive changes through education, community policing, protests, voting, boycotts, accountability and community projects.


Tuesday, February 3, 12:30-2 p.m.
Kwanzaa Celebration
Dutchess Hall, Room 101
The college community celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa: Unity, Self Determination, Creative Work and Responsibility, Cooperative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith.


Thursday, February 5, 12:30 p.m.
Lyceum – “Was Malcolm Right?: The Argument for Black Nationalism in 21st Century America!” by Dr. Weldon McWilliams
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
In light of the death of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, a question arises. What does this say about how America feels toward the black communities and black men? After no indictments in both cases, does the larger amount of black men who are connected to the criminal justice system indicate that the American Dream has escaped the grasps of the black man and the Community? Has integration been good for the Black Community? Would it be more beneficial if the black community began to look at itself and operate under its own value system? Malcolm X warned against the potential drawbacks of full integration. Have those drawbacks exposed themselves?


Friday, February 6, 12-1 p.m.
Presentation – “Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee: Portraits of Black Womanhood” by Dr. Carol Stevens and Dr. Gail Upchurch-Mills
Bowne Hall, Room 122
This program is designed to celebrate the lives of Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee—two exemplary artists who have contributed scores to African American culture. There will be a presentation, critical reading of their seminal works and a subsequent discussion.


Friday, February 6, 8 p.m.
Film –
“Dear White People” by Justin Simien
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
A satirical portrait of race relations in early 21st-century America, the film tells the story of a biracial Winchester University student whose controversial radio show sparks a media frenzy of epic proportions.


Thursday, February 12, 12:30 p.m.
Lyceum – “Rhythm and Identity” by Baba Neil Clarke
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
Clarke is an internationally noted percussionist, who has been a student of his craft for more than 50 years. He studied through long term apprenticeships with Chief James Hawthorne Bey among others, and an immersion in the rich cultural environments which surround his craft. The majority of Clarke’s professional life has consisted of exploring the source, structure and foundations of the rhythmic dimensions of African culture in the Diaspora and supporting their presence in contemporary music contexts, most recently using his artistry in the jazz idiom for NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston. His work with Harry Belafonte (1979-1994) allowed Baba Neil’s music to have a social and political impact. Currently, as an adjunct professor in the Music Department at CCNY since 2004, Mr. Clarke conducts a popular course of his own design on Traditional African Percussion Ensemble performance and theory.



Friday, February 13, 12-1 p.m.
Lecture – “Hating Your Neighbor in the 21st Century” by Jordan Elijah Bell
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
DCC faculty member Jordan Bell will provide an in-depth examination of the prevalence of racism and its various manifestations in 21st century America as well as discuss the victims suffering from the direct and collateral damage of racism. This presentation will include video clips, lecture and open forum discussion to explore the continual reoccurrence of this phenomenon.  


Saturday, February 21, 11 a.m.
Family Festival – TRANSART by Back-A-Yard Theatre
James and Betty Hall Theatre
“Back-a-Yard” presents works rooted in the folklore traditions of the African Diaspora. Through stories, folk songs, dub poetry and raving “riddims,” Back-a-Yard creates a sense of community weaving stories, music and dance that convey to audiences of all ages the vibrancy of African, African-American and Caribbean culture.


Saturday, February 21, 4-6 p.m. (snow date: March 7)
An Evening of Cultural Dance Expressions
James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall
This show is designed to celebrate the contributions of, and illuminate the experiences of, African Americans. Local dance ensembles and DCC students will join together for an amazing, collaborative dance extravaganza that draws on such dance genres as African, ballet, hip hop, jazz, liturgical and modern. This event is lively and fun for the entire family!

For more information, contact Gail Upchurch-Mills at (845) 431-8423.


Tuesday, February 24, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (snow date: April 8)
African Market
Ritz Lounge, Dutchess Hall
Vendors will offer fashion accessories, African American art, music, hair products, jewelry, food and more. For additional information, contact Carmen McGill at (845) 431-8017.


Thursday, February 26, 12:30 p.m.
Prose and Spirituals
Ritz Lounge, Dutchess Hall
The annual event is a celebration of music and poetry contributions inspired by the African American experience – both past and present. The concert includes vocal music by the DCC choral ensembles, under the direction of Ann Foster. The poetry readings will be performed by students selected by Rose Wiley, English & Humanities instructor.