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Black History Month Celebration Set for Feb. 25

Old Dominion University will host its annual Black History Month Celebration at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Big Blue Room at the Ted Constant Center.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature spoken-word and jazz presentations centered around Claudia Rankine's book "Citizen: An American Lyric."

"Citizen" was selected as the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read. The book is a compilation of racial commentary cloaked in poetry, drawings and sculptures. ODU students, representing the MFA Creative Writing Program, Floetic Movement and Black Student Alliance, as well as renowned faculty poets will present oral responses to and critiques of "Citizen."

Faculty presenters will include Remica Bingham-Risher, Tim Seibles, Luisa Igloria, Renee Olander, La Wanza Lett-Brewington, Sheri Reynolds, Delores Phillips and Kelly Morse. The nationally acclaimed Fuzz Band will showcase instrumental jazz pieces that capture the scope of racism and microaggressions. Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP by Feb. 21.

The celebration is co-sponsored by Old Dominion's College of Arts and Letters, Office of Intercultural Relations, Floetic Movement, BlackFist Club, student chapter of the NAACP, MFA Creative Writing Program, Student Activities Council and the Black Student Alliance.

For more information, contact the Office of Intercultural Relations at 757-683-4406 or oir@odu.edu.

Rankine will kick off the NEA Big Read Hampton Roads with her President's Lecture Series speech on Feb. 21. Hampton Roads is one of 79 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read. A full calendar of events, including performances, lectures, book readings, art displays and more, is scheduled through March 23. For more information, go to the Hampton Roads Big Read website.

Local sponsors include the Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach public libraries; ODU's libraries and English, art, dance and theater departments; the Muse Writers Group; the Virginia Beach History Museums; the YMCA of South Hampton Roads; Teens With a Purpose; the Asian Pacific American Heritage Organization, and WHRO/WHTV public radio and TV affiliate.

For more information on Black History Month events at Old Dominion, go to https://www.odu.edu/life/culture/culture-months/black-history

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