The University will host a number of events commemorating Black History Month, beginning with a Jan. 30 presentation by Jane Elliott, adapter of the groundbreaking “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” experiment.
Now a lecturer on diversity and prejudice, Elliott is the former teacher who received national attention for a lesson on discrimination in which participants were labeled inferior or superior based on their eye color. She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union.
She first conducted the experiment with her Riceville, Iowa, third-graders following Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination in April 1968 and later repeated the exercise with various other groups. In her BGSU presentation, titled “The Anatomy of Prejudice,” she will discuss the results of her experiment and explore issues of diversity and discrimination as they relate to a college setting. Her talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the University Activities Organization.
Elliott’s work has been documented on several award-winning television specials, including ABC’s “The Eye of the Storm” and “A Class Divided,” and “The Eye of the Beholder,” on PBS’ Frontline series. Her most recent film is “The Angry Eye.”
Also for Black History Month, Da’ Coloured Gurlz Collective, a Toledo-based theatre troupe that uses music, dance, video and drama, will give two performances on Feb. 8:
- “It’s All Connected! Building Partnerships Across Issues of Difference,” from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Union ballroom, will feature a performance and audience discussion centered on freeing ourselves from the definitions assigned us by society and learning to hear others’ true voices.
- “The Histories: Celebrating Black History Month,” will be held from 4:30-6 p.m. in 201 Union. Using spirituals, drama, poetry and video, the presentation demonstrates how the collective histories and contributions of people of all colors and orientations must be taken into account in order to understand the larger history of America.
On Feb. 17 and 18, the Center for Multicultural and Academic Initiatives will host the 17th annual dinner theatre featuring music, dance and skits from black sitcoms from the ‘90s.
Tickets are $15 for the Feb. 17 performance and $20 for the Feb. 18 performance and include a buffet and cash bar. Both take place in the Union ballroom. For more information, contact the Center for Multicultural and Academic Initiatives, 2-2642.
Black History Month will conclude on Feb. 28 with an “’Old Skool’ Motown Sound Explosion!” featuring the performance group TOUCH. Doors will open at 8 p.m. for the 8:30 p.m. show in the ballroom. The Black Student Union sponsors this event.
The seventh annual Black Issues Conference, titled “A House Divided: Brothas Stand Up, Sistas Speak Out,” will be held later in the semester.