Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Press Releases
Millikin University is pleased to announce its celebration of Black History Month. The theme for 2011 is “Legacy, Struggle and Triumph.”

Black History Month originated in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson promoted what was known as “Negro History Week” in an effort to educate people about the accomplishments of African-Americans.  In 1976, the celebration was expanded to include the entire month of February, the birth month of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass. Black History Month is celebrated to remember important individuals and events in African-American history.

Millikin’s celebration of Black History Month includes a number of events sponsored by University departments and organizations, including the Center for Multicultural Affairs; Black Men, Inc.; Black Student Union; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; Departments of Music and English; Multicultural Student Council; University Center Board; Multicultural Voices of Praise; Sister Circle; Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, Inc. and Springfield Urban League.  

Black History Month includes the following events:


Soul Food Dinner
5:30 – 7 p.m.
Wornick Dining Room, Richards Treat University Center (RTUC) 

Opening Ceremonies
7 p.m.
Lower RTUC 

Opening Ceremonies will honor Black Americans who have impacted history in America and the world. We will celebrate the legacy, struggles, and triumphs through performance by various students and faculty.


Black History Month Quiz Bowl and presentation: “Forgiving America’s Unforgiving Past.”
7 p.m.

Millikin alum Amberly Carter, cousin of Emmett Till, the young boy whose brutal murder mobilized the Civil Rights Movement, will share why black history month is still needed and how to get others to buy into its programming. The presentation will be followed with a Black History “Jeopardy” game. 


Celebrating the 22nd National African American Read-In
11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Big Blue Bistro, RTUC/Johns Hill School

The goal is to make the celebration of African American literacy a traditional part of Black History Month activities. Millikin will continue this tradition by partnering up with Johns Hill School on Monday, Feb. 7. Students and faculty will read at Johns Hill and students and faculty from Johns Hill will read at Millikin University.

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day/Black in America Panel Discussion
6 – 10 p.m.
Fireplace Room, Mertz

This event is to provide free HIV/AIDS testing to those in our community who are at very high risk, as well as information regarding STDs and their effects on the black/minority population. We also aim to create, inspire, and cultivate an open forum/discussion on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, its impact on our community, and how it how it pertains to Millikin University and its students. Panelists will include students, faculty, staff and the Springfield Urban League.


Food for Thought: Why Don’t We Celebrate White History Month?
Presenters: Dr. Anne Matthews and Jordan Russell
12 – 1:30 p.m.
East Room

Have you ever wondered why there are so many weeks or months honoring various cultures, yet there isn’t a White Heritage Month? If so, this is the program for you.  FREE LUNCH PROVIDED!

Jon Goode: Spoken Word Artist & Open Mic Night
8 p.m.
Big Blue Bistro, RTUC

Emmy Nominee and Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry Jam poet Jon Goode will be sharing his talent for the Millikin community. Feel free to get on stage and showcase your own poems. 


“4 Little Girls” – Documentary by Spike Lee
6 p.m.
Fireplace & Mertz Rooms, Lower RTUC

Spike Lee creates a remarkable documentary of the 16th Street Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. It includes interviews with friends, family members, and community members, and activists during the bombing. There will be a brief discussion about this historic event and reflections from students and faculty who not only visited 16th Street Church in Birmingham, but interviewed Birmingham community members and the relatives of the four little girls.


Percussion Ensemble Synergy
7:30 p.m.
Kirkland Fine Arts Center

This event, sponsored by the Millikin Music department will showcase lively percussion music honoring Black History Month. 


“The First Lady and the Slave: The Unlikely Friendship of Mary Todd Lincoln and Elizabeth Keckley”
Presenter: Sandra McKenna
7 p.m.
Lower RTUC

During her years in the White House, Mary Todd Lincoln hired Elizabeth Keckley, a former slave who had bought her freedom by sewing clothes for the wealthy women friends of her mistress.  Mrs. Lincoln was impressed by Keckley’s work and hired her to create most of the clothing she wore as First Lady. Over time, the women became close friends and confidantes, and Mrs. Keckley had access to the Lincoln family in a way no one else of the era did. The two women continued their friendship for many years after the Lincolns left the White House.  What did Elizabeth Keckley hear in those family chambers? 


Imitation Night: A Tribute to Motown
7 p.m.
Lower RTUC

Come honor Berry Gordy and legendary artists of Motown Records and Hitsville USA by witnessing performances from various Millikin students and staff. All students, faculty and staff are welcome and encouraged to perform. A prize will be given to the best performance.


Open Mic
8 – 10 p.m. 
Big Blue Bistro

Singers, poets, musicians are welcome and encouraged to perform at this open event in honor of Black History Month.


House of Blues
8 p.m.
Big Blue Bistro

Listen to live music from the Millikin Blues Combo as they showcase some of their favorite songs and learn the history of blues from Millikin professors Thomas Duncanson and David Burdick. Do you enjoy playing your own blues music? Bring along your instrument and show the rest of the crowd.


Black History Month Monologues
2 – 11 p.m.

Students will read monologues focused on the struggles and triumphs of African-Americans throughout history. 


Closing Ceremonies
7:30 p.m.
Lower RTUC 

Come enjoy a soul food feast while enjoying performances by Millikin’s Multicultural Voices of Praise. There will be a keynote speaker and additional performances by various Millikin students.

For more information on Millikin’s Center for Multicultural Affairs, visit  
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Press Releases

Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL