January 27, 2003
03-24

VSU hosting annual African-American Studies lectures

Valdosta State University will host its seventh annual African-American Studies Lecture series titled "We, Too, Sing America: Celebrating Humanity and Sharing Our Lives." The series will feature three separate programs that are open to the public free of charge and begin at 7 p.m., in the Biology/Chemistry Building.

"These educational lectures and events will explore and present in living color a diverse group of men and women telling their stories, celebrating humanity and sharing their lives," Shirley Hardin, Ph.D, director of African-American Studies, said. "These powerful tributes are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit as well as explain the heritage of a people whose influences are felt today."

The first program, on Jan. 30, will feature the Georgia Sea Island Singers. This group has toured throughout the world, including at the Olympic Games in Mexico and Lillehammer.

"The Georgia Sea Island Singers captivate their audiences with traditional plantation shout and dances over 200 years old," Hardin said. "Their repertoire of dances and spirited songs, including sharecropping dances and the Underground Railroad tunes, help us revisit musical moments in southern history."

The second program, on Feb. 13, is titled "Valdosta's First: The Unsung Sheroes and Heroes" and will feature stories about the accomplishments of various local professionals, including Clarence Jones, Valdosta's first black optician and his partner and longtime friend Jerome Oglesby.

The final program, on Feb. 27, will bring the Valdosta community together with faculty, staff and students as they celebrate the life of Bobby Blake, the former VSU assistant dean of the College of Arts, who died last year. The program will also feature the artwork of VSU alumnus Eric Jones and current student Aaron Reed.