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African Culture Week, Nov. 1-8

October 12, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The first week of November will be African Culture Week at Illinois Wesleyan University, with several days of events celebrating the culture and traditions from across the African continent.

The events, which are free and open to the public, are co-sponsored by the African Studies Team & the African Students Association and highlight the contributions of the continent to the arts.

Event organizer, Illinois Wesleyan Associate Professor of Anthropology Rebecca Gearhart, said many times the contributions of the African arts are overshadowed by the continent’s problems. “Africans are usually seen as victims of poverty, disease, war and famine, which are real concerns that need to be addressed,” she said, noting, “African Culture Week reminds people of the other side of life in Africa, which is characterized by beautiful music, dance, handcrafts, all of which are highlighted in this year's schedule of activities.”

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African Culture Week 2009
Sunday, November 1

The film Belonging (Minky Schlesinger and Khetiwe Ngcobo, South Africa, 2004), 7-8 p.m. in Beckman Auditorium of The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington). The film is part of the campus International Film Series.

Tuesday, November 3

"Africa wants change, but African change!: Lessons for Development in Africa and Haiti," a lecture by Peter Hesse of Solidarity in Partnership for One World, Noon - 1 p.m. This is a brown-bag lunch in the Faculty-Staff Lounge at the Memorial Center (104 E. University St., Bloomington).

Akan Drumming Workshop with Oforiwaa Aduonum, a Ghanaian ethnomusicologist from Illinois State University, 6-7 p.m. in Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington).

Wednesday, November 4

Capoeira Club Open House with a display of the Afro-Brazilian martial art form and its accompanying music, 6-7 p.m. in the Davidson Room, Memorial Center.

Thursday, November 5

International Studies Colloquium Lecture & Concert with Aza Music Ensemble, 4-5:30 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center.

Saturday, November 7

African Beading Party featuring hand-painted Kazuri beads from Kenya. All proceeds will be donated to the Lamu Center of Preventative Health, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Turfler Room, Memorial Center.

Sunday, November 8

African Culture Night with African food and entertainment, 7-9 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center.

For further information on African Culture Week, contact Gearhart at

Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960