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Higher ed desegregation forum among Black History Month events

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The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s commemoration of Black History Month continues with the addition of several events.

The “A Dream Deferred, not Denied: Desegregation of Higher Education” forum will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, at Blackham Coliseum, 2330 Johnston St. It will be led by Dr. Michael Martin, a UL Lafayette history professor, and Dr. Shawn Wilson, a University alum. Wilson is secretary of Louisiana’s Department of Transportation and Development. The event is free.

Martin will discuss desegregation in higher education, including at the University. Wilson will share his experiences as a student and as the first president of the Christiana Smith African-American Alumni Chapter of UL Lafayette. The chapter is named for the first African-American graduate of the University. Smith graduated in May of 1956 from the then Southwestern Louisiana Institute.

The Hilliard Art Museum – University of Louisiana at Lafayette will host the “Vanishing Black Bars & Lounges” exhibit. It will feature L. Kasimu Harris’ photographs that illustrate disappearing Black-owned bars and lounges on St. Bernard Avenue in New Orleans’s 7th Ward. The exhibit will be in place from Friday, Feb. 11, through Wednesday, July 20. Students can view the exhibit for free. The museum is at 710 E. St. Mary Blvd.

Other Black History Month events at UL Lafayette include the “Carrying on the Dream” traveling exhibit, which recognizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s impact on the civil rights movement. The free exhibit will be in place from Tuesday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 19, at Blackham Coliseum. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

The hearse that carried King after his assassination on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., will be displayed. Civil rights artifacts, screenings of the “I am MLK Jr.” documentary film, and art will also be featured. Students participating in the Reginald F. Lewis Scholars Program are helping to coordinate a tour of the exhibit. It includes stops at several University of Louisiana System institutions.

Through the month of February, the work of minority architecture students will be displayed in Fletcher Hall as part of the “Design Praxis in Black” exhibit, which is free.

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, the “Uncomfortable Truths” discussion will be held at 5 p.m., in the Helma B. Constantine Forum. It is located on the second floor of the UL Lafayette Student Union, 620 McKinley St. The event is free.
 
A virtual talk with Nathan Harris, author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling novel “The Sweetness of Water” will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 10. The event is free, but registration is required.
 
The "Knowledge Makes a Man Unfit to be a Slave" lecture will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16, at the Ernest J. Gaines Center. The focus will be on the value of Black education and academic institutions. Aaisha Haykal will lead the virtual event. Haykal is manager of Archival Services at the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. The event is free, but registration is required.
 
A screening of the documentary film “A Crime on the Bayou” will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, at the Gaines Center. A discussion about the film, which centers on racial injustice during desegregation, will follow the screening. The event is free.

The "Celebration of Black History Month" event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Student Union Courtyard. It will feature a candlelight procession followed by music, dance and other performances by students. The event is free.

View a full schedule of UL Lafayette’s Black History Month events.
 
Photo caption:
UL Lafayette’s commemoration of Black History Month will include lectures and forums, including one on desegregation in higher education. The “Carrying on the Dream” traveling exhibit, an author’s talk, a film screening and student-led performances are among other events for the public. Submitted graphic

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