Gonzaga Celebrates Black History Month with Art Exhibits, Music and a New York Times Bestselling Author | Straight from the source

From Gonzaga University:

SPOKANE, Wash. — Two art exhibits, a musical performance, and a conversation about mass incarceration mark Gonzaga University’s celebration of Black History Month.

“House: imagining the irrevocable” features the works of black artists from Eastern Washington. Visual, musical, literary and other artists explore the concept of “home”, inspired by this quote from James Baldwin: “Perhaps home is not a place, but simply an irrevocable condition (in “Giovanni’s Room”, 1956). The exhibit seeks to examine how “home” has been – and continues to be – defined by Black Americans amid historical and contemporary challenges of displacement, marginalization, and otherness. The exhibit, at the Gonzaga University Urban Arts Center, 125 S. Stevens St., will open with a reception Friday, February 4 at 4 p.m. It will continue until February 26. Guest curators are Olivia Evans and Tracy Poindexter-Canton.

Gonzaga student works with a social justice lens will be featured in “Black Excellence and Influence”, an exhibition to be held on February 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in room 314 of the Hemmingson Student Center.

On February 18, this student work will be celebrated from 4-7 p.m. as part of the “Home: Imagining the Irrevocable” exhibition, described above, at the GU Urban Arts Center on Stevens Street.

The annual Black Student Union dinner will be held February 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Hemmingson Ballroom. Dance and other performances are part of the program, which is themed “Hidden Magic: Revealing the Beauty of the Black Community.” Tickets can be purchased online.

At the Woldson Performing Arts Center on February 26, the GU choirs will present their social justice concert “Hold On to Dreams” at 7:30 p.m. The free program focuses on resilience, remembrance and responsibility. The selections highlight the struggle for social justice, black history and excellence, LGBTQIA+, gender equity, the Covid-19 pandemic and the plight of refugees.

Performance will be the Concert Choir, Chamber Chorus, Discantus Treble Chorus and Glee Club with conductors Darnelle Preston, Jadrian Tarver and Amy Porter. The pianists will be Annie Flood and Garrett Heathman as well as community partners. A pre-concert lecture begins at 6:30 p.m. in the recital hall.

The month will be crowned with two events on February 28.

The first is “A conversation with Michelle Alexander”, author of the New York Times bestseller “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” which captured attention and praise with a new edition on its 10th anniversary in 2020.

Alexander brings insight into the practice of mass incarceration in the American justice system as well as a revealing conversation about how to end racial caste in America. In his best-selling book, Alexander lifts the curtain on racism in the American prison system and argues that mass incarceration has come to replace segregation. Learn more about the event and register here.

This event is preceded by a midday discussion: “Do we really need prisons? It’s part of the Controversial Issues series, a monthly lunchtime dialogue scheduled for Hemmingson 314. The discussion will focus on Alexander’s bestseller and set the stage for its presentation that evening.

William E. Bennett