In recognition of 2018 Black History Month, the Center for the Church and the Black Experience at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Northwestern University, and numerous African American churches and organizations have created “Out of the African Diaspora to Evanston, Illinois: A Mosaic of Human Community.”
This month-long event, which began with exhibits last week, aims to educate and inform the Evanston community, particularly youth and young adults, about Black history.
Using the Stations of the Cross to situate the history of Black Americans, participants will experience Black history from the origins of humankind in Africa to events as recent as the kneeling protest by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Through historical texts, art, photographs, artifacts, teaching, preaching, Bible study, and Scriptures, participants will explore and discuss key historical moments and movements in Black American history.
“The work between Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Northwestern University, African American churches, and community institutions is a unique and exciting way to collaboratively do mass education, leadership development, and relationship building,” said Rev. Angela Cowser, Assistant Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience.
“The entire design team has produced joy and gladness in our work together, and we hope that the relationships and collaborations will continue well into the future,” she added.
The Design Team members for this project – Evanston-based academics and scholars, pastors, professionals, community organizers, musicians, artists, and seminarians – were guided by three goals: find, develop, and deepen leaders; educate and re-educate the Evanston community, particularly youth and young adults, on Black history; and build productive relationships and collective power between Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Northwestern University, Evanston churches, and councils interested in the support of Black people.
An opening session was held on Jan. 31 with Larry Murphy, Professor Emeritus of the History of Christianity at Garrett-Evangelical, and a closing worship and plenary will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 28 at Second Baptist Church with Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, senior pastor.
Station One: “Africa and the Origins of Humankind.” Feb. 3, 10 a.m.-noon. Northwestern University’s Herskovits Library of African Studies.
Station Two: “For God, Crown, and First Federal.” Feb. 5, 4-5:30 p.m. Yofresh Yogurt Café, 635 Chicago Ave. #7
Station Three: “Resistance and the Heart of God.” Feb. 8, 6- 7:15 p.m. Ebenezer AME Church, 1109 Emerson St.
Station Four: “The Civil War.” Feb. 10, 2- 5 p.m., Shorefront Legacy Center, 2214 Ridge Ave.
Station Five: “The First Reconstruction Era: A Quest for Full Citizenship.” Feb. 13, 6- 8 p.m., Ebenezer AME Church, 1109 Emerson St.
Station Six: “20th Century: Jim Crow and White Supremacy.” Feb. 15, 10-11:30 a.m., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2121 Sheridan Rd., Room 205 and 6-7:30 p.m., Northwestern University Black House, 1914 Sheridan Rd., Room 101.
Station Seven: “The Depression, New Deal, and World War II.” Feb. 24, 1- 3 p.m., Fisher Memorial AME Zion, 944 Elmwood Ave.
Station Eight: “FMO@50 | Northwestern’s Modern Freedom Movement.” Feb. 20, 5:30- 7 p.m. , Northwestern University Black House, 1914 Sheridan Rd., Room 101.
Station Nine: “Stay Woke: From Black Power to Barack Obama.” Feb. 22, 6- 8 p.m., Sherman United Methodist Church, 2214 Ridge Ave.
Station Ten: “Women in the Age of Trump.” Feb. 24, 10 a.m.- noon, Second Baptist Church, 1717 Benson Ave.
In addition to the community mosaic project, Black History Month events include the following.
Feb. 10, 2-5 p.m. “Blacks During the Civil War.” Shorefront Legacy Center, 2214 Ridge Ave.
Feb. 12, 7 p.m. Black Evanstonian History Makers Up Close, Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave.
Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and Shorefront will host a meet-and-greet evening with former mayor Lorraine H. Morton, former City of Evanston Council member Delores Holmes, entrepreneur/activist Hecky Powell, and others. A reception with light snacks and beverages will be served after the presentation. Families welcome.
Feb. 16, 7 p.m. Friday Night Movies: “Rejoice & Shout,” a look at gospel music and its relationship to African American identity and Christianity. Run time: 115 min.; popcorn included. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Feb. 17, 2-5 p.m. Screening of “Haiti: The Hidden History.” Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave.
Feb. 17 and 24, 7 p.m. and Feb. 18, 3 p.m. “Liberty City,” by April Yvette Thompson, a multi-character solo performance inspired by the playwright’s family’s journey through the end of the Black Power Movement, featuring Dionne Addis and directed by Jonathan Wilson. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Feb. 19, 7 p.m. Selected performances of “100 Acts of Resistance,” conceived by MPACCT’s artistic director Regina Lawrence, taps the talents of Chicagoland’s diverse performing artist community to explore acts of resistance, large and small, through an array of eclectic performances. Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Feb. 23, 7 p.m., Friday Night Movies: “A Ballerina’s Tale” directed by Nelson George, a documentary profiling Black ballerina Misty Copeland, exploring her career, her recovery from a serious injury, and the lack of diversity in the world of dance. Run time: 88 min.; popcorn included. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Feb. 24, 1-3:30 p.m. Le Tour de Noir, the third annual tour of Black-owned Evanston businesses, followed by a Business Expo until 7:30 p.m. Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave. $20.
Feb. 24, 2-5 p.m. “Being Black in the Broadcast Media/Entertainment.” Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave.
Feb. 25, 3 p.m. “The History of Jazz,” lecture on the history of jazz and concert featuring The Donovan Mixon Jazz Ensemble. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Feb. 26, 3 p.m. Staged reading of “Red Summer.” Chicago in the summer of 1919 experienced seven of the bloodiest days in America’s history with boiling heat, sweltering racial tensions, cold politics, a housing crisis, an immigrant crisis, and an employment crisis. What could possibly go wrong? Presented by Fleetwood-Jourdain and MPACCT theatres. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Feb. 27, 6:30 p.m., reception; screening at 7 p.m. “Black Theater: The Making Of A Movement,” presented by Black Theatre Alliance Awards, Inc., and Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary Negro Ensemble Company. Run time: 120 min.; popcorn included. Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.