Cal Poly will be having several events on campus in observance of Black History Month this month, ranging from a poetry slam to a discussion on the difference between dark skin and light skin.

The first event is a Soup and Substance presentation on the history of step dance tomorrow at 11 a.m., hosted by Student Community Services in University Union (UU) room 220. Step has been influential in the African American community as a way to create and tell a story through the music made by bodies instead of instruments. Student Community services said there will be a step show in the Performing Arts Center in April.

Soup and Substance is a 50 minute presentation on a topic facing the world today discussed over soup.

The Cal Poly Performing Arts Center is hosting a tour group called “The Spirit of Uganda,” Wednesday, at the Cohan Center. According to “The Spirit of Uganda” Web site, called Empower African Children, the performance will be benefiting Uganda’s 2.4 million AIDS orphans. The performance includes music and dance from performers ranging from 8 to 18 years old who are all AIDS orphans themselves.

Also on Wednesday, the Multicultural Center presents Another Type of Groove, their monthly spoken word poetry showcase. The featured poet is Shihan, who is a National Poetry Slam Grand Champion and a frequent contributor to Russel Simmon’s HBO Def Poetry.

A movie night is scheduled for Feb. 8 in UU room 221. The movies are undecided, but will be “race films,” which is a film genre existing from 1915-1950. Multicultural Center program assistant Melody Shirazi said two films will be shown from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

“The films were made especially for African-Americans, since they weren’t allowed in white movie theaters,” Shiraz said. “The films feature all African-American casts.”

The next movie screening will be later on in the month, showing Chris Rock’s film “Good Hair.” The movie will be presented by Myraline Morris, founder of the Sister/Soldier project, which sends hair care products to black women in the armed services. The movie focuses on how hair affects African-American culture and at what lengths people go to get “good hair.”

The Multicultural Center will also host a discussion of the difference between light skin and dark skin Feb. 17 in University Union, room 220. The discussion will focus on whether or not there is a difference in perception of the media of lighter skinned and darker skinned African-Americans.

“Were bringing to attention the way media has portrayed light skin and dark skin — showing if the issue is as prevalent in black culture,” student coordinator for Black History Month Shauna Kimball said.

The discussion, which takes place at 7 pm, will be accompanied by media clips and documentaries that have been shown in various ethnic studies classes.

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  1. Go California Polytechnic State University! 🙂

    On behalf of CR4: The Engineer’s Place for News and Discussion, I’d like to invite you to visit the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) blog there. In honor of Black History month, CR4 and NSBE have joined forces to commemorate black inventors, scientists, and engineers. Hope you’ll join us.

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