Events to Mark Black History Month

January 19, 2017 – A lecture and discussion about black leadership and capitalism, an evening of cultural dance and a gospel celebration are just a few of the activities Dutchess Community College is offering to mark Black History Month. All of the events will be held at DCC’s Poughkeepsie campus and are free and open to the public.

The Cultural Dance Expressions, always a popular event, is scheduled for Feb. 11, 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 Gospel celebration will be held Feb. 12 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the James and Betty Hall Theatre in Dutchess Hall. The show will feature soloists, praise dancers, and youth and adult choirs from local churches and readings from DCC faculty, staff and board members. After the concert, refreshments will be served in the Ritz Lounge.

The Black Leadership and the (Un)Free-Market System presentation is scheduled for Feb. 17 from 12-12:50 p.m. in Bowne Hall, room 122. Dr. Weldon McWilliams, assistant professor of history at DCC, will examine the relationship between black leadership and capitalism through the lens of W.E.B. DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr. and others who questioned the economic system’s role in the struggle for freedom and equality. 

The full list of DCC Black History Month activities is below.

For more information about any of the events, please contact Jordan Bell at (845) 431-8424. 


Friday, February 3 
Lecture – “18th-Century African-American Entrepreneurs: Profiles of a Notable Sample”  
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, Room 122  
DCC Assistant Professor of Business Ahmed Ismail will discuss 18th-Century entrepreneurs such as a lumberyard owner, coal dealer or investor who were born either as slaves or to parents who were slaves.

Thursday, February 9
Lecture: “The 10 Commandments of Victory” by Major Coleman, J.D., Ph.D.
12:30-1:50 p.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall 
Black Americans and their allies have been on one long and continuous march toward victory. It began with the defeat of slavery, and now, the greatest performance – when people of color assume the mantle of majority. The world never has witnessed such complete and total mastery of an oppressive force by a group that formerly was enslaved. 

Friday, February 10  
John Grady, Drum Circles  
12:30-1:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, Room 122 
Adjunct instructor John Grady has studied the influence of African rhythms on Caribbean and North American music culture. He will lecture and perform on various African drums and lead a drum circle with audience participants. 

Saturday, February 11  
Family Festival – Crabgrass Puppet Theatre  
11 a.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall 
Anansi and the Talking Melon and Koi and the Kola Nuts are two funny folktales from Africa that will be brought to life with puppetry, spectacular scenery and music. The show is geared toward children up to age 12 and their parents.  

Saturday, February 11 
An Evening of Cultural Dance Expressions 
4-6 p.m., 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. 

 Saturday, February 11 African Market 3-7 p.m., Ritz Lounge, Dutchess Hall 

Vendors will offer fashion accessories, African-American art, music, jewelry, food, hair products and more.


Friday, February 17  
Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV, “Black Leadership and the (Un)Free-Market System 
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, Room 122 
This lecture will examine the relationship between black leadership and capitalism. Major black leaders like W.E.B. DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Panther Party, Angela Davis and many others have questioned if this economic system truly can aid in the fight for freedom for blacks in America. 


Tuesday, February 21 
Dr. Weldon McWilliams IV and Jordan Bell, “Contemporary Economic Policies and the Black Community”  
6-8 p.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall 
McWilliams, Bell and a guest panelist will hold a panel discussion on presidential economic policies and their current and future impacts on the black community. This will be followed by an open forum discussion with audience participation. 


Thursday, February 23 
Prose and Spirituals 
12-12:50 p.m., Dutchess Hall, Room 101 
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 include students selected by Kevin Lang, English and Humanities professor.  

Friday, February 24 
Jordan Bell, “Economics and the Black Woman in America” 
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, Room 122
This interactive workshop is intended to raise awareness of economic policies that have adversely affected black women. An activity will be included that will illustrate the detrimental effects of particular economic policies on the black community, specifically black women. The event will close with an open discussion. 

Thursday, March 2 
Fiction Reading withTayari Jones 
12:30-1:45 p.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall 
Novelist Tayari Jones is the author of three novels, including NEA Big Read selection “Silver Sparrow.” She also is an associate professor of English at Rutgers University in Newark. 

For more information about any of the events, please contact Jordan Bell at (845) 431-8424.