Samford University will sponsor a series of Black History Month and related programs during February. The theme will be "Lift Every Voice and Sing: Connecting the Past with the Future."
The programs will be free and open to the public. Most will be in Reid Chapel at 10 a.m. (Other program locations and times are listed in bold with the event.)
The speakers will include:
Feb. 5---Dr. Jonathan Bass, chair, history department, Samford University, "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’" Dr. Bass is author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated book, Blessed Are the Peacemakers: Martin Luther king, Jr., Eight White Religious Leaders and the ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.’ A member of the faculty since 1998, he is also Samford’s University Historian.
Feb. 7---Timotheus Miller, senior, Wenonah High School, Birmingham. A group of Wenonah students will visit Samford for the program and have lunch with Samford Student Government Association members and Samford President Andrew Westmoreland.
Feb. 12---Dr. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga., the spiritual home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Warnock also has served at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church, Birmingham; Abyssinian Baptist Church, New York City; and Douglas Memorial Community Church, Baltimore, Md.
Feb. 18---Andrew Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership, sponsored by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership, Panel Discussion, "'God's Institution' or Gross Injustice: Slavery Before the Civil War," led by Dr. Richard Carwardine, historian and president of Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, U.K., Bolding Studio, 6 p.m. Samford religion professor Joe Scrivner and history professors John Mayfield and Jason Wallace will join the panel.
Feb. 19---Andrew Gerow Hodges Lectures in Ethics and Leadership, sponsored by the Frances Marlin Mann Center for ethics and Leadership, Dr. Richard Carwardine, historian and president of Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, U.K., "Abraham Lincoln and the Challenge of Emancipation." Dr. Carwardine's book, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power, won the 2004 Lincoln Prize for the best nonfiction work on the Civil War.
Feb. 21---Mayor William Bell, City of Birmingham. Bell has served as Birmingham's 33rd mayor since 2010. Previously, he was president pro-tem of the Jefferson County Commission and the first African American president of the Birmingham City council. He was interim mayor of Birmingham in 1999. Bell's career in local politics spans more than 22 years.
Feb. 26---Dr. Elizabeth Sloan-Ragland, director, WJAB Public Radio, Huntsville, Ala. A 1973 graduate of Samford, she was the first African American female to reside in campus housing at the school. Following graduation, she began her communications career at Alabama Public Television. She joined Alabama A&M University, home of WJAB, several years later, and has remained there for most of her career.
Feb. 28---Cedric Sparks, executive director, Division of Youth Services, City of Birmingham. Sparks is a graduate of the University of Alabama and Miles College Law School.
Feb. 28---Thurgood Marshall Symposium, sponsored by the Black Law Students Association, Cumberland School of Law, "Confronting Modern Barriers to Civil Rights Advocacy in America," professor Tanya Hernandez, Fordham University School of Law, Carroll Courtroom, Robinson Hall, 11 a.m.
Dr. Denise Gregory, Samford chemistry professor and Black History Month co-chair, said, "I am very excited about the programming that has been put in place for Black History Month. Several members of Samford's community have worked to secure the exceptional speakers we will meet in February. I look forward to seeing all of Samford enriched through these planned events."
Jay Roberson, Samford associate athletics director, also serves as a Black History Month co-chair.