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Press Release


U.S. Embassy Montevideo sponsors Black History Month Celebration

Professor Rhonda Collier, Lipscombe University, Tennessee, joins local performers and scholars for an Evening of Poetry and Candombe.


Feb. 17, 2004

In celebration of Black History Month in the United States, the U.S. Embassy, Montevideo, is sponsoring an Evening of Poetry and Candombe in Uruguay. The Centro Cultural por la Paz y la Integración, Abilene Christian University and Lipscomb University are also participating in this cultural celebration.

The event, which features local performers and a visit by Dr. Rhonda Collier of Lipscombe University, Nashville, Tennessee, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Centro de la Paz e lntegracion, Minas 1562.

The evening will include performances by Elumbe, winners of the 2004 Las Llamadas, Beatriz Santos, Elumbe founder, followed by an invitation to participants to read poetry and a drumming session. Also included are a talk on the History of Candombe, presented by Professor Oscar Montana and Tomas Oliviera as well as a presentation by Dr. Collier on Black History in the United States. Students from ACU will sing selected hymns.

Dr. Collier, a former Fulbright Scholar from Brazil and currently a literature professor at Lipscomb University, is leading a study-abroad group of 12 students to Montevideo this semester (January through May). Her research and writing involve Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and African American women's contemporary poetry. During her stay in Uruguay, Dr. Collier plans to expand her research to include Afro-Uruguayan authors.

Black History Month grew from the original celebration of 'Negro History Week," launched in 1915 by Carter G. Woodson, a historian interested in education. He founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History and through this organization began pressing for a week to recognize and honor Black Americans. Woodson choose the second week in February because it contained the birthdays of two people he felt significantly affected the lives of Black Americans: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

In 1926, the U.S. Government officially recognized 'Negro History Week." Much later in 1976, the newly renamed Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History succeeded in promoting this week into Black History Month.


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