Black History Month is a time to learn, celebrate, and highlight achievements and events that are rooted in the African American culture.
Lone Star College-Kingwood’s Intercultural Center and Office of Student Life invites students, employees and the community to participate in free activities during its annual Black History Month celebration in February. Events will include a theatre production and a variety of presentations and discussions that are aimed to broaden horizons.
“It’s important to have intercultural events at LSC-Kingwood to help prepare students to be culturally competent citizens who can interact, co-exist, and have an understanding for people of all backgrounds,” said Kristen Johnson, intercultural program coordinator.
This year’s featured event is The Ensemble Theatre’s free production of “Mahalia” on Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. on the Performing Arts Center (PAC) Main Stage. Written by Tom Stolz, “Mahalia” is a celebration of the life and music of the world’s greatest gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson.
“Rightfully dubbed the ‘Queen of Gospel’, Mahalia Jackson possessed a powerful voice onstage and off. She, like no other singer, pushed Thomas Dorsey’s new born gospel music into the minds and hearts of the world,” said Shirley Marks Whitmore, director of “Mahalia”.
The production offers the audience an opportunity to rejoice in the life of Jackson, an African American woman who used her talent and celebrity status to foster hope and promote civil and social rights. Her musical path ranged from singing in a three room shanty in New Orleans, to providing heartfelt songs that contributed to the civil rights activist of her friend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The “Mahalia” cast features Asia Craft as Mahalia, with Crystal Rae, Andre Neal, and Dorothy Cook-Lastice in the ensemble.
“Bringing this ‘Mahalia’ to LSC-Kingwood realizes the mission of The Ensemble Theatre, which is to preserve African American artistic expression; to enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community,” Whitmore said.
The Ensemble Theatre is the oldest African American theatre in the Southwest and one of only 10 theatres to own its facility in the nation. For 40 years, The Ensemble Theatre has produced performing arts experiences and presented world class productions to the Greater Houston community. For more information on The Ensemble Theatre, visit ensemblehouston.com.
Other LSC-Kingwood’s Black History Month events will include:
- Raul Reyes, LSC-Kingwood history professor, will discuss the triumphant and heroic historical legacy of the African people in the Americas and the colonization of the New World. The presentation is on Feb. 2 at 12:30 p.m. in Classroom Building A (CLA) room 114.
- Dr. Isaac Hampton, history adjunct professor at Texas A&M San Antonio and San Antonio College, will speak on various topics in African American history. The presentation is on Feb. 15 at 12:30 p.m. in the Student Conference Center (SCC).
- “Moments in Black History” will feature speeches from Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and more. The event is on Feb. 21 at 12:30 p.m. in the SCC. It will be moderated and discussed by LSC-Kingwood faculty members. Refreshments will be provided.
“I hope the campus and community will have a broadened and more diverse perspective as they participate in the variety of cultural events that will take place on the college campus,” Johnson said.
Register at lonestar.edu/registration for spring 2017 credit classes. Classes are offered days, evenings, or weekends in traditional and online. For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281.312.1600 or visit lonestar.edu/kingwood.htm.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 98,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of $3.1 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more visit LoneStar.edu.