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UW Student Group Celebrates Black History Month in February

February 3, 2014
Movie still depicting man working in cotton field
Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor appears in the Oscar-nominated film, “12 Years a Slave,” that will be shown Feb. 21, as part of Black History Month events at the University of Wyoming.

Panel discussions, a showing of a leading candidate to win an Academy Award for Best Picture and a soul food dinner are among Black History Month events at the University of Wyoming.

The Association of Black Student Leaders (ABSL) presents the free public activities during the month.

“Daydreaming: An Evolution of Student Activism,” a lunch panel discussion, begins activities from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, in the Wyoming Union West Ballroom.

UW American Studies Assistant Professor Ulrich Adelt will discuss "Hot Stuff: Donna Summer, ‘Race’ and National Identity" from noon-1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in the Wyoming Union West Ballroom. The history of disco music will be examined along with Summer’s hit-filled career. She spent a significant part of her early career in Germany and collaborated with Italian-German producer Giorgio Moroder on many of her songs. Adelt will discuss how Summer negotiated her identity as an African-American woman in a male-dominated white music industry.

“12 Years a Slave,” one of this season’s leading films to win the Oscar race for Best Picture, will be shown at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the Wyoming Union Family Room. The historical drama is an adaptation of the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup. He was a New York state-born free black man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northrup worked on Louisiana plantations for 12 years before his release.

The film has received nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Director, Steve McQueen; Best Actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor; Best Supporting Actor, Michael Fassbender; and Best Supporting Actress, Lupita Nyong'o.

Black History Month concludes with two events Thursday, Feb. 27. A soul food dinner and game night are planned from 6-8 p.m. in the Cheney International Center basement.

Activities are sponsored by UW’s ABSL, Multicultural Affairs, African American and Diaspora Studies, and Friday Night Fever.

For more information, contact Tracey Patton, director and professor in the UW Department of African American and Diaspora Studies, at (307) 766-3857 or email

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