Nelson Mandela’s Life and Legacies Celebrated in Dance, Drumming and Discussion as UMass Amherst Hosts Five College Africa Day

AMHERST, Mass. – The late Nelson Mandela will be remembered during a special program offered as part of Five College Africa Day on Friday, April 4 from 4-7 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium, Stockbridge Hall, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

“Madiba’s Gifts: Nelson Mandela’s Life and Legacies – A Tribute” will include drumming, dance, panel discussions and stories as well as a keynote address by Garrey Dennie, a former speechwriter to Mandela who is now a professor of history at St. Mary’s College.

The program is free and open to the public. A reception will immediately follow the event in Stockbridge Hall.

The Five College African Studies Program organizes Africa Day, now in its ninth year. The program, which publishes the highly regarded African Studies Review, is committed to building a better understanding and appreciation of Africa. This popular annual event has been one means for spreading that understanding. Additional support for Africa Day this year comes from the UMass Amherst Chancellor’s Office.

The day before Africa Day will feature related events. On April 3, UMass Amherst English professor Stephen Clingman will explore the work of African diaspora chronicler Caryl Phillips in the Five College Jackie Pritzen lecture titled “Rights, Routes, and Refugees: The Fiction of Caryl Phillips.” It will be held at 4:30 p.m. in UMass’ Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall.

Also on April 3, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum presents a conversation in Gamble Auditorium with Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui and Nigerian painter and poet Obiora Udechukwu. This presentation, accompanying the exhibition “El Anatsui: New Worlds,” is the first annual Patricia and Edward Falkenberg Lecture.

Based in Amherst, Mass., Five Colleges, Inc., is a nonprofit educational consortium created in 1965 to advance the extensive educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions—Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.