Johnson State to Observe Black History Month in February With Series of Events

Johnson State College is observing Black History Month in February with several events, including a lecture by a Mississippi journalist whose work led to the recent convictions of several Ku Klux Klan members for murders committed in the 1960s, a documentary film exploring the role of the National Urban League's Whitney Young in anti-discrimination efforts; a concert by Brooklyn-based string composers Charly and Margaux; and American Place Theatre's production of The Secret Life of Bees, based on the best-selling novel set during the civil rights era. All events are free and open to the public.

 

Events include:

 

Monday, Feb. 4: Jerry Mitchell, the award-winning investigative reporter whose work led to the convictions of four Klansmen responsible for civil rights era murders, will speak at 6 p.m. in 207 Bentley Hall. Mitchell's talk is titled "Tales of Justice and Redemption in Mississippi." Since 1989, as a reporter for The Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Miss., Mitchell has uncovered documents, tracked down suspects and witnesses, and prompted law enforcement officials to reopen the "cold cases" of civil rights era violence. He has won more than 30 national awards for his work, including the Ralph McGill Medal for Courage and MacArthur "genius award."

Thursday, Feb. 7: In collaboration with Vermont Public Television, Johnson State will screen the documentary film The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights at 4 p.m. in the Stearns Student Center Cinema. Young, head of the National Urban League during the 1960s and once called "the inside man of the black revolution," played an integral role in the fight against discrimination. The event is part of PBS' monthly Community Cinema series.

Monday, Feb. 18: Charly and Margaux, Brooklyn-based indie classical composers whose distinct sound draws on everything from baroque to blues, will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Stearns Student Center. Although their training at Boston College and Berklee School of Music was steeped in classical music, Charly and Margaux have gone on to collaborate with hip-hop artists and rappers, including Kendrick Lamar, Pharoahe Monch, Wyclef Jean and Casey Veggies.

Wednesday, Feb. 20: New York-based American Place Theatre presents a professionally staged, verbatim adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret of Bees at 8 p.m. in the Dibden Center for the Arts. The novel and play cover a young girl's search for the truth about her mother during the civil rights era.

For more information about any of these events, contact Emily Neilsen at 802-635-1408 or Emily.Neilsen@jsc.edu.