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Black History Month Opened With Tribute to the Memphis State Eight University News
For release: February 2, 2009

For press information, contact Office of Minority Affairs, 901-678-2054

The University of Memphis opened its observance of Black History Month by honoring the Memphis State Eight, the first African-American students to attend the University. They received the Authur S. Holmon Lifetime Achievement Award from the Black Student Association during the opening ceremony in the Michael D. Rose Theatre. A symposium with the Memphis State Eight, hosted by Mearl Purvis, was held February 3 in the Rose Theatre.

The Black History Month calendar includes a full schedule of pageantry and programs, music, and lectures.  All events are free and open the public. 

Black History Month events include:

Friday, Feb. 6
Gospel Explosion: Perfection, Angelic Voices of Faith and the Brown Singers, 7 p.m., Rose Theatre

Angelic Voices of Faith

Angelic Voices of Faith

Sunday, Feb. 8
Discussion: State of Black Relationships in 2009, hosted by Eddie Jones, 7 p.m., Panhellenic Building Ballroom

Tuesday, Feb. 10
The Forgotten Root, hosted by the Hispanic Student Association, 7 p.m., Psychology Auditorium

Thursday, Feb. 12
Comedy Show with Joe Clair, Ronnie Jordan, and Deon Cole, 7 p.m., Rose Theatre

Comedy Show with Joe Clair, Ronnie Jordan, and Deon Cole

Pictured from left to right, Joe Clair, Ronnie Jordan, and Deon Cole.

Tuesday, Feb. 17
Black History Month: Then, Now, and Tomorrow, 7-9 p.m., Rose Theatre

Friday, Feb. 20
Freedom Ball and Mahogany Awards, 7-11 p.m., University Holiday Inn

Thursday, Feb. 26
A Frank Discussion with Vicki R. Palmer, executive vice president for finance and administration with Coca-Cola Enterprises, 1 p.m., Panhellenic Building Ballroom

Friday, Feb. 27
Closing Ceremony, featuring a presentation by Dr. Miriam DeCosta Willis, first African-American instructor at the U of M, 1 p.m., Rose Theatre

There also will be readings in the Ned R. McWherter Library rotunda each Wednesday in February from noon to 1 p.m.

More information about Black History Month events is available from the U of M Office of Minority Affairs by phone at 901-678-2054.  The full calendar is online at

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