College of DuPage kicks off Black History Month celebration

  • Members of the Afrikan Dance and Music Institute perform at the opening ceremony for College of DuPage's Black History Month celebration.

    Members of the Afrikan Dance and Music Institute perform at the opening ceremony for College of DuPage's Black History Month celebration. Courtesy of College of DuPage

Updated 2/11/2020 10:34 PM

College of DuPage students, faculty and staff, as well as members of the community, enjoyed a performance by the Afrikan Dance and Music Institute at the college's official Black History Month opening celebration.

The ceremony included remarks from college President Dr. Brian Caputo, provost Mark Curtis-Chavez and Student Diversity and Inclusion Center manager David Swope. It also featured student speakers Manuel Nartey, Black Student Alliance president, and Magauta Ntsoeu, a South African Community College Initiative program participant.


The event also included a performance by the COD Chamber Singers led by COD Choral Music Director Lee Kesselman.

The Black History Month programming continues on Thursday, Feb. 13, with guest speaker Dr. Fredrick Douglas Dixon discussing African Americans and the vote from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

On Thursday, Feb. 18, WDCB Station Manager Dan Bindert will present "History Through Music, This is My Country ... It Was Just a Dream" from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Student Resource Center's Room 2032. A survey of musical reflections on the White House, America and self-determination through the musical genres of jazz, blues and soul culture. Light refreshments will be provided.

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, Black Student Alliance will hold "The Voting Jubilee" from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Student Services Center's Atrium Room 2206. A student's perspective on the history of voting and how that interest has changed over the years.

On Tuesday Feb. 25, the Black Student Alliance will present "The Best of Enemies" and a discussion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Services Center Room 1200. BSA leads a review of clips and topical discussion from the film "The Best of Enemies." The true story of the unlikely relationship between Ann Atwater, an outspoken civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis, a local Ku Klux Klan leader. During the racially charged summer of 1971, Atwater and Ellis come together to co-chair a community summit on the desegregation of schools in Durham, N.C. The ensuing debate and battle soon lead to surprising revelations that change both of their lives forever.

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On Thursday, Feb. 27, the closing program will feature "A Taste of History Featuring Indika Reggae Band & Garifuna Flava" from noon to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. The reception will include awards, food, artifacts and documents that celebrate the rich and diverse culture of Black History.

In addition, students are invited to submit an essay, a story, a piece of art or music, a poem or any other form of expression that reflects African Americans and their right to vote for the "Expressions" competition. The top three submittals will be featured at the Black History Month closing ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 27. Submittals are due by Thursday, Feb. 20. For rules, visit

For more information on all Black History Month at College of DuPage, contact Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion Manager David Swope at or (630) 942-2565.

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