In partnership with Harris-Stowe State University, the Missouri Humanities Council is proud to sponsor a Black History Month Series, “A View of African American History and Culture.” The series will be hosted on the campus of Harris-Stowe State University: 3026 Laclede Ave | St. Louis, MO 63103.
Events will be held every Thursday from 6:30 – 8:00pm in the month of February, beginning Thursday, February 1, 2018.
- Thursday, February 1, 2018 | Harris-Stowe State University, Henry Givens, Jr. Admin Building 112 Auditorium
Patrick Mureithi – Presenting “Many Steps to Home”
Patrick Mureithi, a Kenyan documentary filmmaker and musician who lives in Springfield, MO, will present on his documentary, “Many Steps,” which explores the origin and evolution of African American collegiate stepping. Stepping is a popular communal art form in which teams of young dancers compete, using improvisation, call and response, complex meters, propulsive rhythms and a percussive attack. Patrick will also touch on documentary work that focuses on healing from psychological trauma after the 1994 Rwandan genocide and Kenya’s 2007/8 post election violence.
- Thursday, February 8, 2018 | Harris-Stowe State University, Henry Givens, Jr. Admin Building 112 Auditorium
Sir Ervin Williams III – Presenting “The Messengers”
Sir Ervin Williams III, a St. Louis native and Harris-Stowe alum, will present, “The Messengers,” a compelling story told in the form of monologues, music, and poetry. The story begins with Taharqa, a great pharaoh from Africa who was also known as the “Last Great Pharaoh.” Taharqa is awakened is awakened by a premonition of what is to come of his great land. When he realizes the inevitable, he immediately forges a plan to cast a spell to send messengers to the future. These messengers are charged with the task of warning other Africans of what the future holds for their civilization. The messengers come back in the form of Nat Turner, Uncle Wright, and Martin Luther King Jr., among other great individuals. This one-man show will be presented by Sir Ervin Williams III and will teach the resilience of the African American spirit throughout history.
- Thursday, February 15, 2018 | Harris-Stowe State University, Emerson Performance Center Theater
Gregory S. Carr – Presenting “The Ablest Detective: The Ira Cooper Story”
Gregory S. Carr, will be presenting, “The Ablest Detective: The Ira Cooper Story;” centering around the most successful police detective in St. Louis Metropolitan Police history, Ira Cooper. Cooper, is a noteworthy individual for several reasons. He was a master detective who solved 100% of his cases, was one of the first “negro specials” (black police officers) to serve in the city of St. Louis, the first police officer to serve on the force who had a degree (opthalmology from Northern Illinois), in 1924 he solved a $35,000 embezzlement case from Mercantile Bank, and in 1931 he was instrumental in rescuing one of the Busch heirs from a kidnapping plot. Most notably, in 1924 he used his influence to persuade the St. Louis Police Department to allow retired black officers and their widows to receive a pension in the same way their white counterparts did. Part of my presentation would be performance and the other part would be a short talk on Cooper’s life, which would include a PowerPoint and a clip from a documentary on the St. Louis Black Police Officers and a documentary I participated in on Ira Cooper’s life.
- Thursday, February 22, 2018 | Harris-Stowe State University, Clay Education Center Performance Development
Lois D. Conley – Presenting “Remembering Mill Creek”
The Griot Museum of Black History, Lois D. Conley, Founder, will present, “Remembering Mill Creek, a panel exhibit and accompanying audio-video presentation of the community once known as Mill Creek. Background: The Griot will adapt its current exhibit on Eminent Domain, to focus only on Mill Creek (where HSSU currently resides). It would include narrative panels and a video presentation. It would not be a large exhibit or a very long video, but a good concise story of the now displaced neighborhood of which HSSU students/faculty/staff ( as well as others) will have little or no memory.