Black History Month Features Mountaineers, Poets, Scholars, Artists

About four years ago, a team of African Americans set out to summit North America’s highest peak, the 20,310-foot Denali, in Alaska, with a goal not just of reaching the top, but of making history. They wanted to “build a legacy of inclusion,” and to inspire other people of color to consider the outdoors their place.

Their expedition was captured in the documentary, An American Ascent, which will be shown at Bowdoin Thursday evening. Two of the trip’s mountaineers, Scott Briscoe and Tyrhee Moore, will discuss the film and the issues it addresses, including the “often overlooked issues of race and the outdoors.” The screening and discussion will kick off a month of programming to celebrate Black History Month.

The following Tuesday, Feb. 6, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, a prominent scholar and and cultural critic on issues of race, religion, popular culture, and contemporary issues, will give Bowdoin’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture, “Martin Luther King Jr. for the 21st Century.”  Dyson is a professor of sociology at Georgetown University and the author of of eighteen books, including April 4, 1968: Martin Luther king Jr. Death and How It Changed America, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster, and his most recent, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. 

Through the rest of February, organizers of Black History Month at Bowdoin have planned many more events, including a faculty talk on black perspectives in history, politics, and art; a screening trip to see Black Panther, the first Marvel superhero film with a majority African American cast; a rap concert; an African art festival; a poetry reading by Elizabeth Acevedo; and the annual student Ebony Ball, a long-standing tradition at Bowdoin.

Check out Bowdoin’s events calendar to learn more.

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