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Citadel News Service
23 Jan 2009

Black History Month kicks off Feb. 5

The perspectives of prominent African-American businessmen on the struggling state and national economies and a special showing of a documentary about the Orangeburg Massacre will highlight Black History Month events at The Citadel in February.

Black History Month runs Feb. 5 -26 at various locations on and near The Citadel campus. This year's theme is "Surviving Economic Hardships through Education abd Community Building." All events are free and open to the public. The month kicks off with a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance in Summerall Chapel. Other events include the popular Black History Month Bazaar, a keynote address and a panel discussion about dealing with the struggling economy. Panelists include Keith Waring of Charlestowne Associates, Terrance Rivers, Citadel Class of 1994, of New York Life Insurance; Bruce Wright, ’95, of Brookland Federal Credit Union and Carlos Frank, ’00, of Frank Financial Group.

“Our panelists and keynote speaker this year are outstanding examples of the kind of principled leaders The Citadel strives to produce in its graduates,” said Robert Pickering, director of Multicultural Student Services at The Citadel. “These men have gone on to be standouts in their fields and are role models for our cadets. That they are also talking about the very timely topic of how to cope with our struggling state and national economy will provide valuable lessons to our students.”

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The screening of “Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968” is one of the highlights of this year’s Black History Month celebration. The screening will take place at 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 9 in the auditorium at Burke High School, which is located two blocks from The Citadel campus on President Street. The one-hour documentary, funded by PBS, chronicles an important lesser known event of the 1960’s civil rights movement. The massacre occurred after four days of student protests to desegregate a whites-only bowling alley in downtown Orangeburg and close to the historically black colleges of South Carolina State and Claflin University. On Feb. 8, 1968, eight seconds of police gunfire left three young men dead and 27 wounded. It was the first time police opened fire on students on a U.S. college campus, predating the uprising at Kent State University by two years.

The film includes interviews with those involved, including students, state police, the late Gov. Robert McNair; Cleveland Sellers, now president of Voorhees College;and Jack Bass, a member of the history faculty at The Citadel.

“We are honored to be the sponsor for the Charleston premier of this important film,” said Bo Moore, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. “The Orangeburg Massacre has too often been missing from substantive discussions about the civil rights era in South Carolina. It is our hope that this documentary will promote a better public understanding of this tragic event and the lingering impact that it has had on race relations in our state.” 

The screening will conclude with a question and answer session featuring co-producers and co-directors, Bestor Cram and Judy Richardson, and Bass, who is co-author of the seminal book, “The Orangeburg Massacre.”  Copies of the book as well as DVDs of the movie will be available for purchase.


Schedule of Events

Feb. 5 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Summerall Chapel

The observance is a student driven program honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King and recognizing community leaders who work to continue his legacy of social justice.
Sponsored by the Black History Intercollegiate Consortium (The Citadel, MUSC, Trident Technical College, Charleston Southern University, and The College of Charleston).

Feb. 7 - Annual Black History Month Bazaar
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Buyer Auditorium, Mark Clark Hall.

The bazaar features music, exhibits and food and attracts visitors to campus from all across the Lowcountry. Music will be performed by the band A Touch of Class and Urban Roots. Exhibitors will include the Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels and the Tut-Tut Kemetic Group.

Feb. 9 – “Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968”
7 p.m., Burke High School auditorium, President Street

“Scarred Justice” is a documentary that offers a definitive account of the tragic event know as the “Orangeburg Massacre” that occurred at SC State College in 1968. Sponsored by The School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Sponsored by The School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the screening will conclude with a question and answer session featuring co-producers and co-directors Bestor Cram and Judy Richardson, and Dr. Jack Bass, a member of the history faculty at The Citadel, who is co-author of the seminal book, “The Orangeburg Massacre.”  Copies of the book as well as DVDs of the movie will be available for purchase.

Feb. 19. - Economic Panel Discussion
6:30 p.m., Copeland Auditorium, Grimsley Hall

Citadel graduates and community members in the financial industry discuss ways to deal with the economic crisis. Invited panelist are Keith Waring of Charlestowne Associates, Terrance Rivers, Citadel Class of 1994, of New York Life Insurance, Bruce Wright, ’95, of Brookland Federal Credit Union and Carlos Frank, ’00, of Frank Financial Group.

Feb. 26 - Keynote Speaker – James Mitchell Jr.
6:30 p.m., Copeland Auditorium, Grimsley Hall

James Mitchell Jr. is the vice president of the Alternative investments Group of GE Asset
Management. He is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. In his current position Mitchell is responsible for more than $2.5 billion in assets. He is a member of several advisory boards, including the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. Mitchell also works to develop and retain to minority talent within his company by serving on the national leadership team of the African American Forum, a GE Co. sponsored affinity group.

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