LCU kicks off Black History Month with production of ‘Fences’

Several events will be held in February on campus at Louisiana Christian University in honor of Black History Month, starting Thursday with the premiere of the play “Fences.” Theatre of Louisiana Christian’s first play of the spring season, the drama “Fences” by August Wilson, will include the first all-black cast production in tLCU history. Terrell Phillips, senior theatre major from Alexandria, plays the lead in the play. “It’s a blessing to be put in these positions and to represent the African American community, to open doors for black students to get more involved in things around campus,” said Phillips, who is also former Student Government Association president. “Fences” runs Feb. 3-5 and Feb 10-12 at 7 p.m. in the Martin Performing Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased online and are $5 for LCU students, faculty and staff; $12 for senior citizens and non-LCU students; and $15 for general admission. Groups of 10 or more can attend for $10. For additional information on ticket purchases, call 318-613-4064. Other events this month include the Third Annual Gospel Choir Concert, a panel discussion on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a movie night. “Diversity is something I want us to celebrate every day at Louisiana Christian University, said President Rick Brewer, “but we are excited to spend special time to honor and note the important contributions of African Americans this month.” The Third Annual Gospel Choir Concert, directed by Phillips, will be held in Guinn Auditorium on Feb. 17 at 6:30 p.m. “It’s a different style music many students are not used to hearing,” Phillips said. “It taps into a culture that I am used to and a lot of African Americans are used to but a lot of people haven’t heard before.” The choir includes students, alumni and community members, including the Zion Hill Church worship team. Later in the month, LCU will hold a panel discussion on the perspective on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how we have or have not realized much of his dream. The event will be held in Guinn Auditorium on Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. “Black History Month was created to honor the contributions of African Americans to the United States,” said Joshua Joy Dara, associate vice president for engagement and enrichment. Everyone can participate in the celebration because it is all about overcoming trials and celebrating triumphs.” The idea of having a black history month celebration was started by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a scholar, educator and publisher, who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University. Woodson’s plan began in 1926 as a week to celebrate black history during the second week of February because this month includes the birthdays of Federick Douglas, an abolitionist who worked to end slavery, and President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed the slaves, Dara said. Fifty years later in 1976, President Gerald Ford officially changed the event to Black History Month. Today, many college campuses and school districts throughout the United States recognize and celebrate the accomplishments and legacy of black Americans, Dara said. “We are very grateful to Dr. Brewer for encouraging the study of accomplishments by African Americans to be celebrated on our campus,” Dara said. “This year’s celebration at LCU will be a time of education, fun, music and good fellowship.” Movie Night will feature a showing of the 2014 film “Selma,” which depicts the voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery led by Martin Luther King Jr. It be shown Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 7.30 p.m. The concert and panel discussion are free events to the public.