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EIU Media Relations

EIU celebrating African-American Heritage Month with virtual events in February


(Charleston, IL) – Eastern Illinois University invites community members to join students, staff and faculty in celebrating African-American Heritage Month this February.

According to the African-American Heritage Month committee, EIU will offer a variety of cultural and educational events intended to celebrate black lives by honoring the men, women, families and communities that support and sustain black excellence. Events will center around a principal theme of “We the People: Redefining Black History,” and include an assortment of virtual programs and activities that highlight black contributions and applaud the most fundamental elements of blackness in American and global culture.

Yolanda Williams, academic advisor and member of EIU’s African-American Heritage Month planning committee, encourages everyone in the broader EIU community to explore and attend some or all of the university’s online African-American Heritage Month offerings.

“This year’s AAHM theme of We The People: Redefining Black History speaks to people of the African Diaspora not only being an intricate thread in the fabric of America, but also speaks to the fact that Black/African/African-American people are and have always been a huge part of the democratic process,” Williams said. “[And with] their participation in this process comes a redefining of what Black History and Black Excellence looks like in this world.”

African-American Heritage Month events at EIU kicked off earlier this week, and included an open-forum discussion about systematic oppression, racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, safety, and breaking socio-cultural color barriers. Remaining events in this month’s African-American Heritage Month at EIU will include:

  • Thursday February 4, 2021
    Finer Body-ody (Workout with the Zetas) at 7:20 p.m.; presented by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.

  • Wednesday February 10, 2021
    Glimpses of Ghana: Maakye!at 2 p.m.
    In this session, EIU graduate student Frank Gyimah will talk about his home country of Ghana, and its rich culture, history and diverse peoples.
    Bougee, Rachet, Ghetto: Defining 21st Century Black Womanhood at 6 p.m.
    Presented by AAHM Committee. Facilitated by Ms. Kelsey Bogard and Dr. Tradare Mclaurine
    Black women are often labeled with stereotypes such as boogie, ghetto, or ratchet. Sometimes
    even angry. This discussion will explain the parallels between the terms bougie, ghetto, and ratchet and the “strong Black woman” and “strong Black independent woman.” We will also discuss how all limit Black women’s ability to emote transparently and further promote self-hate from our own, racism from others, sexism, constant critiques of our bodies, hair, skin tone, and a whole lot more.

  • Monday February 15, 2021
    Black Card Revoked(game) at 6:13 p.m.; presented by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 

  • Tuesday Feb. 16, 2021
    Conversations with STRONG: Black Owned. A Lesson in Entrepreneurship & Branding!at 6 p.m.
    Presented by STRONG MENtoring with Special Guests: Pillars founder, Andre Weaver & Shady Eyes Co. founder, Timery Jackson.

  • Thursday February 18, 2021
    African Drummingat 1:30 p.m.
    Presented by EIU’s Africa West percussion ensemble, and the Jefferson Elementary School World Drumming Club. Learn about a variety of African drumming from Jamie Ryan/Africa West, Eric Mueller, Frank Gyimah, and Hope Situembeko.

Coloring the Path: Grad School Edition at 7 p.m.
Presented by Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA). This event will be a conversation about the importance of Graduate School, why it is important, how to navigate the application process and voices from some EIU current Grad students.

  • Tuesday, February 23, 2021
    Cultural Stereotypes: Perceptions or Reality?from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
    What do you think about when you hear ‘cultural stereotypes?’ How do we understand the complexities of cultures and generalizations? Come listen on our international students discussing the patterns of cultures to which they belong. Moderated by Lutete Carlos.

  • Saturday February 27, 2021
    Image Awards: Success Is the New Blackat 6 p.m.; presented by EIU’s NAACP

For more information and links to EIU’s African-American Heritage Month virtual events, visit EIU’s Office of Inclusion and Academic Engagement on the web at For more information about EIU, or to learn more about its growing assortment of programs and services, visit the university’s website at, or call EIU’s public information office at (217) 581-7400.

* * *

ADDENDUM: WEIU-TV shared the following list of events they are hosting in February as well. Please see below:

2/10 at 9:30pm - Charlie's Place

Description:  Charlie's Place, a nightclub in the black neighborhood of Myrtle Beach, S.C., brought blacks and whites together to listen to music by performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday and Ray Charles.

2/11 at 9:30pm - Dr. Ibram X. Kendi -- An IGI Special Presentation

Description:  Author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, founding director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University in Washington, D.C.

2/13 at 6pm - Amen! Music of the Black Church

Description:  The traditions, historical significance and meaning of Black church music; Dr. Raymond Wise leads the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble in a performance of sacred music derived from African traditions.

2/13 at 7pm - Marching Forward

Description:  Two high school band directors -- one Black, one white -- inspire an atypical collaboration in the segregated South in 1964.

2/13 at 8pm - Dreams of Hope

Description:  Behind-the-scenes interviews provide insight into the concert at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., that took place more than 50 years after a hate crime killed four black girls.

2/14 at 6pm - Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 2020

Description:  A look at the only juried American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity; host Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

2/14 at 9pm - CodeSwitching: Race and Identity in the Suburban Schoolhouse

Description:  Black students shuttled from the inner-city to white suburban schools default to code switching to fit in in the face of insipid racism and isolation.

2/15 at 9pm - Vernon Jordan: Make It Plain

Description:  Vernon Jordan's rise from the segregated South to his leadership in several civil rights organizations and position as partner at Lazard.

2/17 at 9:00pm - Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin: The Story of March

Description:  Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and co-author Andrew Aydin discuss their graphic novel trilogy, "March," at the Flynn Center in Burlington, Vt.

2/18 at 7pm - American Experience

Roads to Memphis

Description:  The entwined stories of assassin James Earl Ray and his target, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

2/18 at 9pm - Unchained: Generational Trauma and Healing

Description:  Men and women discuss the lingering emotional trauma passed down from their slave ancestors; the roots of American racism and processes that bring about reconciliation.



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Josh Reinhart, Public Information Coordinator

2142 Old Main
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
Fax: 217-581-8444

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