February 7, 2012 — The themes of preserving African-American culture and celebrating contributions of black artists encompass the range of events to be held for the University of Virginia's observance of Black History Month.
The Office of African-American Affairs and other offices and groups around Grounds will offer several opportunities to participate in and attend entertainment events, including an "open-mic night" on Feb. 9.
Scheduled events include:
• Feb. 9: Just Lyricz Open Mic and Poetry Jam
7 p.m., Newcomb Hall Commonwealth Room "
One mic, an audience and your voice – whether in the audience or on stage" is the motto for this event.
"Just Lyricz" jams also take place the first and third Thursday of each month at Random Row Bookstore in Charlottesville, 315 W. Main Street. The venue provides local and regional artists, amateurs, hobbyists, semi-professionals and professionals a platform for their voice to be heard through artistic expression.
• Feb. 17: Black History Bowl
4 p.m., Observatory Hill Dining Hall Forum
Sponsored by the Black Student Alliance, this annual event aims to bring together the community while educating attendees on the contributions of people of African descent. U.Va. students will participate in a "Jeopardy!"-style game with "answers in the form of a question" relating to black history in Virginia and the world.
• Feb. 24: "Portraits in Color," by Step It Up
7 p.m., Newcomb Hall Ballroom (doors open at 6 p.m.)
In the group's sixth annual Black History Month celebration, U.Va.'s Step It Up step-dancing team will honor black history in the arts, with stepping, dancing, skits and readings performed by various student groups. Step It Up, founded in 2004, is the University's first and only non-Greek step team.
• Feb. 25: Black Voices Winter Benefit Concert
7 p.m., location to be announced
• Feb. 29: Black History Month Closing Ceremony and Fifth Annual Image Awards
7 p.m., Newcomb Hall Ballroom Fashioned after the NAACP's Image Awards, the U.Va. awards ceremony celebrates outstanding achievements, as well as individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors. Students, faculty and staff will be honored for their commitment and service to the black community.
In addition to the Office of African-American Affairs, sponsors for the closing ceremony include: the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, U.Va. Dining, Black Student Alliance, Black Leadership Institute, the U.Va. NAACP chapter and U.Va. Student Council.
A complete schedule of Black History Month events is here.