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Free Films, Performances, Armstrong Museum Tours, Book Talks, and More During Black History Month


Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

(718) 997-5597

Maria Matteo
News Assistant
(718) 997-5593


– Armstrong Museum Tours and Talks, Screening of Spike Lee Films, Book Discussions, Song, Dance, Poetry, and Town Hall Meeting on Race Are Among Free Public Events –

FLUSHING, NY, January 25, 2008 – In observance of Black History Month, the faculty, staff and students of Queens College will host a series of public events that honor African-American history, art and culture. This February’s events will also involve participation by students from Townsend Harris High School.

“We will be employing a variety of media, including art, literature, poetry, comedy and film, to discuss and analyze the creative contributions made by such artists as Spike Lee, Zora Neale Hurston, Maya Angelou and Dave Chappelle,” says Maureen Pierce-Anyan, Queens College’s Director of Minority Student Affairs, who was a member of the Black History Month organizing committee. “We hope this year’s exciting program will educate, engage and influence many people.”

Queens College has a distinguished educational record in minority communities. According to a recent study by the Association of Departments of English (ADE), Queens College has produced more African-American students who have gone on to complete PhDs in English than Cornell, Duke, Harvard, NYU or Johns Hopkins Universities (among others). Marie Maynard Daly, a 1942 graduate, was the first African-American woman in the United States to receive a PhD in Chemistry.

The following events are free and open to the public. More information is available at

Wednesday, February 6: 12:15–1:30 pm
Cable TV Program: Iconoclasts
A reprise of a cable TV segment that aired November 30, 2006, on the Sundance Channel featuring the popular comedian and satirist Dave Chappelle and distinguished poet Maya Angelou. Both artists talk candidly about their passions, creative processes, and inspirations.
Sponsored by the Anthropology Department.
Powdermaker Hall, Room 115

Monday, February 11: 12:00–2:00 pm
Lecture: “Black Social Workers in Apartheid South Africa,” presented by Queens College History Professor Grace Davie. Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program.
Rosenthal Library, President’s Conference Room 1, 5th floor

Wednesday, February 13: 12:00–1:30 pm
Song, art, dance and poetry performances: “Performing Race”
Townsend Harris High School students join Queens College students, faculty and staff as they employ a variety of creative media to explore the meaning of race and racial identity. Sponsored by the Office of Minority Affairs, the Africana Studies Dept., Student Life Office, College Now Program and Townsend Harris High School.
Student Union, Room 304

Wednesday, February 13: 12:15–1:40 pm
Feature Film: Jungle Fever
Screening of Spike Lee’s critically acclaimed 1991 film about a black architect’s extramarital affair with his Italian secretary, and its repercussions among their friends and family. Sponsored by the Black Student Union.
Student Union, Room 301

Wednesday, February 20: 12:15–1:40 pm
Feature Film: Do the Right Thing
Deemed “culturally significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress, Spike Lee’s award-winning 1989 drama focuses on escalating racial tensions on one block in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood on the hottest day of the year. Sponsored by the Black Student Union.
Dining Hall, Patio Room.

Wednesday, February 20: 12:15–2:00 pm
Book Discussion on Their Eyes Were Watching God
An exploration of Zora Neale Hurston’s masterwork. Controversial when it was first published in 1937, the novel has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American and women's literature (see February 25 and 27).
Sponsored by the Rosenthal Library. Twomey Lounge, Level 1 of Library.

Thursday, February 21: 12:15–1:40 pm
Feature Film: School Daze
Released in 1988, Spike Lee’s depiction of homecoming at a black southern college launched the careers of several young African-American actors. The film is based in part on Lee’s experiences at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Sponsored by the Black Student Union.
Dining Hall, Patio Room.

Monday, February 25, 12:00–1:30 pm
Town Hall Meeting: “Acting White: Race & Education”
Open exchange of ideas on the meaning of race and ethnicity and its impact on educational achievement. Sponsored by Office of Minority Affairs, Political Science Club, Africana Studies Dept. and City University of New York (CUNY) Black Male Initiative.
Dining Hall, Patio Room

Monday, February 25, 12:15 – 2:00 pm
Book Discussion on Their Eyes Were Watching God, led by Queens College English Professor Wayne Moreland (see February 20 and 27). Twomey Lounge, Level 1 of Library.

Wednesday, February 27, 12:15 – 2:00 pm
Book Discussion on Their Eyes Were Watching God, led by Queens College English Professor Shirley Carrie (see February 20 and 25). Twomey Lounge, Level 1 of Library.

Wednesday, February 27, 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Documentary Film: Black Is, Black Ain’t
Marlon Briggs’ last film addresses racism, sexism, and homophobia within the black community; the movie features poignant interviews with prominent black feminists and gay and lesbian African-Americans—including the filmmaker himself, who died of AIDS in 1994. The film was completed by Briggs’ production team seven months after his death. Student-led discussion follows film screening. Sponsored by the Africana Studies Dept.
Dining Hall, Patio Room.


Friday, February 1– Thursday, February 28
Book Exhibit: “Eyes on Zora”
This extensive collection from the Queens College library will include books, monographs and photos related to Zora Neale Hurston, including her own literary works, biographies, and literature on her role in the Harlem Renaissance. The exhibit will also feature books written by other notable African-American women such as Nella Larsen, Lorraine Hansberry and Jacqueline Woodson.
Rosenthal Library, Barham Rotunda, Level Three

Saturday, February 2, 9, 16, 23, 2:00 – 4:00 pm
“All About Louis”: Lectures, Free Guided Tours and Other Events at the Louis Armstrong House Museum
Louis Armstrong was one of the world’s greatest entertainers. He was loved and celebrated internationally as the father of jazz, genius trumpeter, singer, movie star and goodwill ambassador. But he was also a prolific writer, collage artist and civil rights pioneer. A series of fun, family-friendly events will shed light on these fascinating, little-known sides of Armstrong, followed by a guided tour of the home he shared with his wife, Lucille, for almost 30 years.

On Saturday, February 9, the gallery talk, “Louis as Civil Rights Pioneer,” a look at Armstrong’s many contributions to the civil rights struggle, will be presented by the Museum’s Assistant Director, Deslyn Dyer. Armstrong’s FBI file will be on display for this day only.
The Louis Armstrong House Museum (administered by Queens College), is located at 34-56 107th Street, Corona, Queens. Space is limited; advance registration required for all free lectures and tours. More info: 718-478-8274;

For directions to and a map of Queens College, please visit The college is located at 65-30 Kissena Blvd. in Flushing, Exit 24 (Kissena Blvd.) on the LIE. It can also be reached by public transportation.


 Office Information

Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Queens Hall, Room 270B
(718) 997-5593

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