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BRCC to celebrate Black History Month with a series of empowering events, culminating with keynote address by ESPN's Jemele Hill

BRCC’s Office of Student Life and Student Government Association are hosting a month-long series of empowering events in celebration of Black History Month. Festivities kicked off on Feb. 1 and will run through Feb. 27 with a closing celebration featuring ESPN sports journalist, Jemele Hill delivering the keynote address.

Thursday, Feb. 15
Faculty Panel Discussion

There will be a Faculty Panel Discussion on Thursday, Feb. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dumas Conference Room, Magnolia Building, Mid City. The discussion will feature BRCC faculty Erica Burrell, Angela Bruns, Bea Gyimah, Paul Sampson, and Dennis Taylor.  The theme “Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future!” will focus on how education has empowered black history and the progress of African Americans.

Tuesday, Feb. 20 
Poetry Slam/Talent Show

On Feb. 20, a poetry and talent event featuring BRCC students will be held at 11 a.m. at the Acadian site, 3250 N. Acadian Thruway E. Refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, Feb. 20 
MLK Unity Reception

Also on Feb. 20, BRCC will host its rescheduled MLK Unity Reception with former Louisiana Congressman, Cleo Fields, as the keynote speaker. The MLK Unity Reception is a time-honored tradition joining together LSU, Southern University and BRCC for a celebration and appreciation event. During the Unity Reception, contributions of leaders are recognized with a keynote address and student leaders are encouraged to reflect on their role in resolving critical community issues and to take initiative in enhancing unity among diverse groups within the community.

Monday, Feb. 26
Screening: "Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart"

On Feb. 26, Louisiana Public Broadcasting in conjunction with BRCC will host a free screening of Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, at 6 p.m. in the Magnolia Theatre, Mid City. This new film from American Masters examines the life of the late playwright and activist Lorraine Hansberry (1930 - 1965) best known for A Raisin in the Sun (1959), the first play written by an African-American woman to be produced on Broadway. A Raisin in the Sunchanged the face of American theater by depicting the limitations of the American dream through the lives of a black family on Chicago’s South Side. This documentary is from award-winning filmmaker Tracy Heather Strain and features interviews with Hollywood legends Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Harry Belafonte, and Louis Gossett Jr., narration by award-winning actress LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and the voice of Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose as Hansberry. The result is a timely and revealing portrait of an activist and artist whose popular recognition has, until now, remained long overdue. The screening will include a 45 minute panel discussion after the film. To RSVP for the film screening, call 225-767-4274 or email

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Black History Month Celebration with Jemele Hill

BRCC’s Black History Month festivities will close out with a celebration on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Magnolia Theatre, Mid City. The program will feature ESPN’s Jemele Hill as the keynote speaker.  Jemele Hill began her career in 1997 as a general assignment sports writer for the Raleigh News & Observer. She joined ESPN in 2006 and became a SportsCenter anchor in February 2017. She participated in The President and the People: A National Conversation, a town-hall event with President Barack Obama concerning race relations, justice, policing and equality. A native of Detroit, Hill graduated from Michigan State University in 1997 with a degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish. The culminating celebration will also feature a BRCC celebration gospel choir and student entertainment. A reception will follow.