Amherst, Mass. - A number of educational, cultural, and social events are planned at the University of Massachusetts in February in honor of African-American History Month, beginning with a performance of "Having Our Say," the hit Broadway play based on the lives of two African-American sisters, Sarah and Elizabeth Delany; and including an exhibit of memorabilia paying tribute to the legendary Jackie Robinson. For further information, call the numbers listed beside each event below. All telephone numbers are in the 413 area code, unless otherwise indicated.
Thurs., Feb. 6 - "Having Our Say" - The Tony-nominated play based on the lives of African-American sisters Sarah and Elizabeth Delany, authors of the best-selling book, "Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years," 8 p.m., Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. Tickets are $5 for students; $10 for people age 17 and younger; and $15, $23, and $27 for the general public. The event is sponsored by Peoples Bank and WGGB-TV 40. For tickets, call 545-2511.
Thurs., Feb. 6 - "Equatorial Elegance: Bead Trade Between Venice and West Africa," a lecture by Joanne Eicher of the University of Minnesota, 4 p.m. in the Southside Room, near the Hampden Gallery at Hampden Dining Commons. The lecture will be followed by a reception. Both events mark the opening of an exhibit, "Textiles and Techniques: African and Indonesian Cloth," curated by Susan Michelman of the consumer studies department. The exhibit will run through the end of February. All events are free and open to the public. Call 545-0680 for more information.
Thurs., Feb. 6 - Keith Boykin, author of "One More River to Cross: Black and Gay in America," will speak at 12:30 p.m. in the Campus Center room 803, and 8 p.m. at the New Africa House Library. Boykin is a graduate of Harvard Law School and executive director of the national Black Gay & Lesbian Leadership Forum. The event is free and open to the public and is part of the GLBT Studies Lecture Series, is co-sponsored by the Stonewall Center; the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Graduate Student Organization; the women’s studies department; and the Chancellor’s Task Force on GLBT Matters. For more information, contact the UMass Stonewall Center at 545-4824 or http://www.umass.edu/stonewall. Fri. Feb. 18 - "Black Is, Black Ain’t," a film by Marlon Riggs, followed by a students of color discussion panel. The event will take place at 6 p.m. in the New Africa House, and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the UMass Stonewall Center at 545-4824 or http://www.umass.edu/stonewall.
Sat., Feb. 22- "A Laying of Hands," a performance of Michele Maureen Verhoosky’s play by the Onyx Theater Company, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium. The Onyx Theater Company is the first American deaf theater company devoted to actors of color. "A Laying of Hands" features a cast of 13 speaking and signing actors. Set in a segregated Georgia town during the Depression, a physically challenged, deaf African-American woman finds herself suddenly able to cure people of their illnesses and prejudices after a family member is lynched by the Ku Klux Klan. Tickets are $8 for the general public; $5 for students, seniors, and children. Single tickets are available for low income patrons. All tickets are sold in advance in the Fine Arts Center Box Office. For reservations and ticket information, call 545-2511.
Sun., Feb., 23- Jazz great Archie Shepp, a longtime faculty member in the Afro-American studies department, will be interviewed on WFCR at 6 p.m. Shepp speaks of his life and career as a saxophonist,composer, and educator. Playing alongside John Coltrane and Cecil Taylor, Shepp’s career coincided with the free jazz and civil rights movements of the 1960s. For more information, call WFCR at 545-0100.
Wed., Feb. 26- The Billy Taylor Trio and the Sheila Jordan & Steve Kuhn Duo will perform at 8 p.m. at Bowker Auditorium. UMass graduate Billy Taylor and guest artists will perform to benefit the University’s Fletcher Henderson Scholarship Fund. The fund is a scholarship endowment for students of color. Tickets are $5 for students; $8 for people ages 17 and younger; and $15 and $20 for the general public. The event is sponsored by Coopers & Lybrand, and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. For tickets, call 545-2511.
Wed., Feb. 26 - "Portrait of a Black Drag Queen," performance by Craig Hickman, 8 p.m. in Hampden Theater. This is part of the GLBT Cafe Series and is co-sponsored by the Stonewall Center and the UMass Arts Council. Tickets are not required; donations of $3-$5 are requested. For more information, contact the UMass Stonewall Center at 545-4824 or http://www.umass.edu/stonewall.
Thurs., Feb. 27 - Magic Triangle Jazz Concert series, featuring the Elvin Bitiste Quartet, 8 p.m., Hampden Theater. Tickets are $6 for students, and $9 for the general public. Sponsored by WMUA and the UMass Residential Arts program. For tickets, call 545-2511.
Ongoing Events Throughout February:
* "Jackie Robinson: Life and Legacy." Tues. Jan. 28 through Fri. Feb. 21., in the Visual and Performing Arts Space on the first floor of the Student Union Building. The exhibit is open Mon. through Thurs., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Fri., 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. An opening reception will be held Thurs. Jan 30 at 9 p.m., following an address at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium by Robinson teammate Joe Black. Both events are free and open to the public.
* "The Hands of One Man." An exhibition of sculptures and reliefs by Jamaican-born artist Elton Braithwaite, at the Augusta Savage Gallery, located in the New Africa House. An opening reception will be held Mon. Feb. 3, from 5-7 p.m., and the exhibit runs through February. The gallery is open Monday and Tuesday, 1-7 p.m., and Wednesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. For more information, call 545-5177.
* "Textiles and Techniques: African and Indonesian Cloth." Textile exhibit at Hampden Gallery, curated by Susan Michelman of the consumer studies department. (See listing above for information on the opening reception and related lecture.) Hampden Gallery is open Mon. through Fri., 3-7 p.m., and Sun., 2-6 p.m.
* "Love Makes a Family: Living in Lesbian and Gay Families. Photograph-text exhibit featuring families of diverse races. Opens with a Valentine’s Day reception in the UMass Campus Center graduate lounge, 7-9 p.m., Fri. Feb. 14. The exhibit is free and open to the public, and will be on display until the end of February. For more information, call 545-4824.
* "Something Else to See: Improvisational Bordering Styles in African-American Quilts." Forty-six quilts from the collection of Eli Leon, displayed at the University Gallery. An opening reception will be held Fri. Jan. 31, 5-7 p.m. The University Gallery is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 p.m. The gallery is also open during evening performances held in the Concert Hall of the Fine Arts Center. For more information, call 545-3670.
* Du Bois Library Exhibit - The W.E.B. Du Bois Library will offer an exhibit relating to African-American author W.E.B. Du Bois, for whom the library is named. Call 545-0414 for library hours and details on the exhibit.
* Union Video Center Programming Series - UVC will offer special programming on the UMass cable television system throughout February, marking African-American History Month. For more information, call 545-1336.