Tuskegee University Lyceum Series continues into the 2019-20 academic year with an emphasis on the arts, literature and activism. The series, which features notable headliners who educate, enlighten and entertain members of the campus and surrounding communities, represents the university’s commitment to educating students in an engaging and holistic way.
The following Lyceum Series events are free and open to members of the campus and surrounding communities. For information about the series, specific events, or bookings for future Lyceum Series, contact Dr. Sheena Harris, interim director of Student Engagement Initiatives, at 334.724.4317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Performance: “I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story, A One-Woman Play”
Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, 6:00 p.m., Logan Hall
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Tuskegee will welcome “The Fannie Lou Hamer Story, A One-Woman Play,” written by and starring Mzuri Moyo Aimbaye. The play is based on the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer — and is being credited with potentially changing the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. With its central messages of civic engagement, civil rights and social justice, “The Fannie Lou Hamer Story” is on its National Voters Education Empowerment Tour. The national tour is rekindling grassroots voting power to restore fair representation in order to disrupt gerrymandering and abusive redistricting power in America. As part of the performance, voter registration booths will be available, and a Q&A session will follow the play. Learn more at www.thefannielouhamerstory.com. [read more in our online newsroom]
Performance: “Paul Robeson: One-Man Play”
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, 6:00 p.m., Logan Hall
Created and performed by Stogie Kenyatta, “Paul Robeson: One-Man Play” is powerful and poignant, entertaining and educational, heartfelt and humorous. It celebrates our common humanity through the story of the Harlem Renaissance’s Paul Robeson, a gifted actor, singer, author, athlete and political activist. Through his one-man play — performed more than 300 times at universities across the world — the Jamaican-born and Brooklyn-bred comedian, actor and screenwriter shows us that, in spite of our differences, we still have more in common than we do in conflict. This show and lively Q&A that follows, like Robeson’s life, serves as a cultural ambassador inspiring us to greater understanding, achievements and a more noble life. Learn more at stogiekenyatta.com. [read more in our online newsroom]
Performance: Annual Christmas Concert and Tree-Lighting Ceremony
Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, 6:00 p.m., University Chapel
Ring in the holiday season with the Golden Voices Concert Choir’s annual Christmas Concert and Tree-Lighting Ceremony. Choir members, joined by the Tuskegee University Brass Ensemble, will entertain the crowd with both classical and traditional holiday songs. [read more in our online newsroom]
Performance by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, 7:00 p.m., Logan Hall
“Ailey II” is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Founded in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, the company continues to embody its founder’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training, and community programs for all people. Under the direction of Sylvia Waters from 1974 to 2012, “Ailey II” has flourished into one of the most popular modern dance companies by combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.
With Artistic Director Troy Powell at the helm, Ailey II continues to thrive as he brings a fresh dimension to this beloved company. Dance Magazine calls “Ailey II” “second to none,” and The New York Times declares, “There's nothing like an evening spent with ‘Ailey II,’ the younger version of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.” Read more at www.alvinailey.org/about/ailey-ii. [read more in our online newsroom]
Doors will open at 6 p.m.; seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Actor, Director, Dancer, Singer and Tony Award winner
Lecture: "The Civil Rights Movement and the Making of Roots"
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, 6:00 p.m., University Chapel
Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as actor, director, dancer and singer Ben Vereen. His legendary performances transcend time and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy. Credited with appearances in 15 different Broadway productions — include his Tony Award-winning, best-actor role in the musical Pippin — Mr. Vereen is also revered for his many and memorable television and movie roles that have spanned more than 50 years. It was his role as “Chicken” George Moore in Alex Haley’s groundbreaking 1977 television miniseries Roots that made Mr. Vereen a household name and prompted an Emmy nomination. His arts advocacy and humanitarian efforts have been recognized with Israel's Cultural and Humanitarian Award, three NAACP Image Awards, an Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award and a Victory Award. He is both a Theatre Hall of Fame and Dance Hall of Fame inductee, and the recipient of Broadwayworld.com’s Cabaret Award for Best Celebrity Male Vocalist in addition to his numerous Tony, Golden Globe and Emmy nominations and awards. This year, he will be honored with the Broadway Beacon Award. [read more in our online newsroom]
Lecture: "From Slave Ship to Spaceship: African-American Pioneers in Space"
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, 4:30 p.m., Kenney Hall Auditorium
Carl McNair has spent nearly 35 years sharing stories that celebrate the contributions African-American “heroes” and “sheroes” have made to the U.S. space program. The stories of these highly trained and extremely dedicated aerospace and STEM professionals are rarely shared in our history books or in schools. One such “hidden figure” is Mr. McNair’s brother, astronaut and physicist Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who was among the seven crew members to perish aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger when it exploded shortly after takeoff on Jan. 28, 1986. An HBCU graduate, Dr. McNair was the first civilian African-American astronaut to serve in the shuttle program. Mr. McNair shares his brother’s inspirational story of poverty, discrimination, determination and unwavering faith in his best-selling book, In the Spirit of Ronald E. McNair-Astronaut. This Lyceum Series presentation will also include an exclusive sneak-peak screening of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, which premiers on Feb. 24 and charts the country’s efforts to launch the first African-American astronaut into space at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Like his brother, Mr. McNair is a graduate of North Carolina A&T University and is the founder and CEO of McNair Achievement Programs LLC, which designs, develops and implements successful educational programs that promote academic excellence and personal achievement. [read more in our online newsroom]
Lecture by the author and social activist
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, 4:30 p.m., Logan Hall
Best-selling author Patrisse Cullors is credited as one of the co-founders of the #BlackLivesMatter social media movement — which originated in 2013 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. The artist, organizer, educator and Los Angeles native published her memoir When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir in January 2018, at which time it became an instant New York Times bestseller. Ms. Cullors has been honored with accolades including The Sydney Peace Prize Award (2017), Black Woman of the Year Award (2015) from The National Congress of Black Women, Civil Rights Leader for the 21st Century Award (2015) from the Los Angeles Times, Community Change Agent Award (2016) from BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., Women of the Year Award for the Justice Seekers Award (2016) from Glamour, and ESSENCE’s first-ever Woke Award. Read more at https://patrissecullors.com. [read more in our online newsroom]
Part of Tuskegee University’s 2019-20 Common Reading Book Experience program. Students’ reading of Cullors’ When They Call You a Terrorist — along with Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery — will comprise the focus of the university’s Year-long Common Reading Book Experience program.
2020 Ellison Lecture by the author, professor and critic
Tuesday, March 31, 2020, 3:00 p.m., Brimmer Hall Auditorium
The Lyceum Series is pleased to partner with the Department of Modern Languages, Communication and Philosophy as it welcomes Adam Bradley as its 2020 Ellison Lecturer. Dr. Bradley is a professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he directs its Laboratory for Race and Popular Culture — also known as the RAP Lab. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Book of Rhymes; The Poetry of Pop; The Anthology of Rap; and the New York Times-bestseller One Day It’ll All Make Sense, a memoir he wrote for the rapper and actor Common. Dr. Bradley began studying the literature of Ralph Ellison as a 19-year-old research assistant to Ellison’s literary executor, Dr. John F. Callahan. In the years that followed, he and Dr. Callahan co-edited the posthumous edition of Ellison’s second novel, Three Days Before the Shooting. Dr. Bradley also authored a study of Ellison’s life and fiction entitled Ralph Ellison in Progress. He is now completing the annotated edition of Invisible Man for Random House. Dr. Bradley’s writing and commentary appear regularly in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and in many other publications. Read more at www.adamfbradley.com.
The annual Ellison Lecture Series honors the memory and literary contributions of Ralph Waldo Ellison, who studied at Tuskegee before moving on to a scholarly career that included authoring classics such as Invisible Man, Shadow and Act, and Going to the Territory. Read more about the Ellison Lecture Series.
2020 Dawson Lecture by the historian, lecturer, author and activist
Saturday, April 4, 2020, 1:00 p.m., Tuskegee University Chapel
Annual Dawson Concert, 6:00 p.m., Logan Hall
The Lyceum Series is pleased to partner with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts to welcome Bill Doggett as the university’s 2020 Dawson Institute Lecturer. Mr. Doggett is an accomplished, multifaceted historian, scholarly lecturer, author, archivist, exhibitions curator and curator of unique multimedia arts and history events — all of which he combines to create dialogue inter-generationally within and across diverse communities. As a historian and archivist specializing in African-American history contextualized through historical media, Mr. Doggett’s blended skill sets are hewn from 20-plus years of interface with performing arts and media preservation organizations.
Later that evening, the university will host the William L. Dawson Institute Concert, featuring Tuskegee’s Golden Voices Concert Choir, Concert Band, and Alumni Choir. It also will include performances by other HBCUs in Alabama and beyond.
Both events celebrate the memory and musical contributions of world-renowned composer and 1921 Tuskegee Institute alumnus William Dawson. After his studies at the Horner Institute of Fine Arts and the American Conservatory of Music, he returned to Tuskegee, where from 1930 to 1955 he led its School of Music, and as director of the Tuskegee Institute Choir, ushered the choir to the international stage through appearances at the White House and Radio City Music Hall, and as part of numerous national concert tours.
Both events coincide with and are part of programming for the university’s annual Founders’ Day Weekend, coordinated by the Office of Alumni Affairs.
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