DCC Events to Celebrate Black History Month

January 31, 2018 – A lecture and discussion about comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, an evening of cultural dance and a drum circle event 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 show is scheduled for Feb. 10, 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.

English Instructor Jordan Bell will discuss the accomplishments and legacy of comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away in 2017. The presentation, set for Feb. 13 at 1 p.m. in room 122 of Bowne Hall, will include several video clips that highlight some of his work. Gregory gave a lecture at DCC in 2013.

DCC adjunct instructor John Grady will discuss the influence of African rhythms on Caribbean and North American music culture on Feb. 16 at noon in Bowne Hall, room 122. His presentation will feature remarks and a demonstration on various African drums. He also will lead a drum circle with audience participants. 

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

For more information about any of the events, please email Jordan Bell


Black History Month Film Series, 5:30 p.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall

In collaboration with Communications Professor Camilo Rojas and the Communications program, five culturally relevant films about the African-American experience will be shown on select dates through March, with a panel discussion following each.

Jan. 29, “Do the Right Thing”

Feb. 5, “Malcolm X”

Feb. 12, “Watermelon Man”

March 5, “Get Out” 

Thursday, February 1
Lyceum: Charles Dumas - From Brown to Obama and Back
12:30-2 p.m., Dutchess Hall, room 101

DCC alumnus Charles Dumas is a community activist, actor, writer, director and teacher. He was a project director for The Mississippi Freedom Summer Project in 1964 and earned an Emmy Award for his acting in “Separate But Equal.” He also is a noted playwright, twice becoming a semifinalist in the O’Neill National Playwriting program. Dumas was the first tenured African-American professor to direct at Penn State and was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. His talk will present his personal perspective on the modern Civil Rights/Black Power movement.

Friday, February 2
Still Overcoming: Two Decades of ‘Firsts’ Within the Black Community
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, room 122

English Instructor Shinelle Espaillat will discuss the past two decades of barriers through which members of the black community have broken to hold positions of power or distinction in areas of societal import including finance, politics, sciences and the humanities. The program will examine why there would be so many firsts in the twenty-first century, the effects these moments have had on America’s progress, and how many “firsts” are still to be achieved.

Friday, February 9
Contributions of the Harlem Hellfighters
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, room 122

Assistant Professor of History Dr. Michael Boden will provide a historic account of the Harlem Hellfighters (369th Infantry Regiment) and their various social, political and military contributions and impacts during the First World War. Additionally, challenges such as discrimination, racism and oppression during their return to America will be addressed. This presentation is particularly relevant as 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the war’s end. 

Saturday, February 10
A Reading of Children’s Stories
10 a.m.-noon, Ritz Library

English Instructor Jordan Bell will read various children’s stories, such as “The Snowy Day,” that highlight the diverse experiences of African-American children.

Saturday, February 10
Cultural Dance Expressions
4-6 p.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall

The show is designed to celebrate the contributions of, and illuminate the experiences of, African Americans. Local dance ensembles and DCC students will come together for an amazing, collaborative dance extravaganza that draws on such dance genres as African, ballet, hip hop, jazz, liturgical and modern. The event is lively and fun for the entire family. For more information, contact Jamoy Smikle at Jamoy.Smikle@sunydutchess.edu.

Saturday, February 10
African Market
4-6 p.m., Ritz Lounge, Dutchess Hall

Vendors will offer a diverse selection of fashion accessories, African-American art, music, jewelry, food, hair products and more. For more information, email Jordan Bell at Jordan.Bell@sunydutchess.edu.

Tuesday, February 13
Dick Gregory: Too Soon to Forget
1-2 p.m., Bowne Hall, room 122

English Instructor Jordan Bell will discuss the accomplishments and legacy of comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away in 2017. The presentation will include several video clips that highlight some of his work. Gregory lectured at DCC in 2013.

Friday, February 16
Drum Circles
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, room 122

DCC’s John Grady has been investigating the influence that rhythms from Africa have had on the music culture of the Caribbean and North America. Grady plays the Djun drum set, and he will be lecturing while providing an interactive workshop on various African drums. Taking part in a drum circle allows participants to experience history instead of just listening to it.

Thursday, February 22
Prose and Spirituals
12:30-2 p.m., Dutchess Hall, room 101

Assistant Professor of English Kevin Lang will host the annual celebration of music and poetry contributions inspired by the African-American experience – both past and present. The program will include vocal music by the DCC Choral Ensembles, under the direction of Ann Foster. The poetry readings will be performed by students selected by Lang.

Friday, February 23
bell hooks: Incorporating Multicultural Pedagogies of the Academic Other
12-12:50 p.m., Bowne Hall, room 122

Eurocentric pedagogies often are employed in academic settings, yet these pedagogies don’t always garner similar success rates for students of color as they do for white students.  Several multicultural pedagogical approaches and their potential effect on student success rates will be discussed by English Instructor Jordan Bell.

Tuesday, February 27
Panel Discussion: Otherness, Who or What is the Other, and Why (if at all) Does it Matter?
6-8 p.m., James and Betty Hall Theatre, Dutchess Hall

The panel will discuss what Otherness is, where the term was coined, what or who is the Other, and why the concept of the Other is culturally relevant. Audience members will be encouraged to participate.


For more information about any of the events, please contact Jordan Bell at jordan.bell@sunydutchess.edu.