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IU Northwest celebrates Black History Month through artistic lens

Weekly Wednesday film series, August Wilson play, jazz concert featured throughout February

Thursday Jan 26, 2017

Indiana University Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs invites the campus and community to celebrate Black History Month with a series of cultural events spotlighting African American arts and culture.

Play: August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson”

7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3 and 4
Theatre Northwest, 3660 Grant Street, Gary

“The Piano Lesson” is the fourth play in August Wilson’s Century Cycle. Set in Pittsburgh in 1936, it follows the struggle of the African American Charles family over the sale of a precious family heirloom, literally and figuratively fighting the ghosts of their past. Produced by Mark Spencer of Mass Media Productions.

Film: “Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968”

1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1
Savannah Center, Rooms 205/206

This film brings to light one of the bloodiest tragedies of the Civil Rights era after four decades of deliberate denial. The killing of four white students at Kent State University in 1970 left an indelible stain on our national consciousness. But most Americans know nothing of the three black students killed at South Carolina State College in Orangeburg two years earlier.

Film: “Bridging the Divide: Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race”

1 p.m., Wednesday Feb. 8
Savannah Center, Rooms 205/206

This film tells the compelling story about Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley—the first African American mayor elected in a major U.S. city with an overwhelmingly white majority. Mayor for 20 years (1973-1993), his extraordinary multiracial coalition redefined Los Angeles, ushered in police reform, and transformed the national dialogue on race, encouraging elections of minority candidates nationwide, including President Barack Obama.

Speaker: Dr. Runoko Rashidi

6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9
Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, Savannah Center

Dr. Runoko Rashidi is a writer and speaker who lectures on ancient Egypt, his belief in an African presence in pre-historic America, Africans in antiquity, and the African presence in Asia and other parts of the world. He is the author or editor of 18 books.

Film: “Race Against Prime Time”

1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15
Savannah Center, Rooms 205/206

This is one of the first films to scrutinize how television news represents African Americans. This hard-hitting documentary takes us behind the scenes at the newsrooms of the three network affiliates during the Liberty City uprising in Miami which left 18 dead. It provides a classic case study of how the news gets made: what we see—and what we don’t.

Film: “The Road to Brown”

1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22
|Savannah Center, Rooms 205/206

This film tells the story of the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling as the culmination of a brilliant legal assault on segregation that launched the Civil Rights Movement.

Concert: Jazz History Concert featuring Billy Foster

6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 28
Bruce W. Bergland Auditorium, Savannah Center

This group of professional musicians will trace the history of jazz music and its genres from the early 1900s to today. Enjoy New Orleans, Swing, Bebop, Hardbop, Modal, Electric Jazz and more. Audience participation is encouraged.

Ticket Information

Tickets for the “Piano Lesson” are free and available on a first-come, first served basis. Tickets for the film series are not required. A guided discussion will take place after each film and light refreshments will be served.

For tickets and more information, contact Tierra Jackson at 219-980-6596 or

About Indiana University Northwest

As one of seven Indiana University campuses, IU Northwest leads the region as the premier, urban campus dedicated to serving the needs of nearly 6,000 students from the state’s most diverse and industrialized region. Committed to helping its local Northwest Indiana communities thrive, IU Northwest is best-known for providing a personal, quality and affordable education close to home.  IU Northwest positions its students to be leaders with more than 70 undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. For more information, please visit

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