The University of Chicago celebrates Black Heritage this January and February. Alumnus and historian Carter G. Woodson, (A.B. and A.M. 1908) spearheaded the 1926 creation of Negro History Week. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month in February.
Next week, on Tuesday, January 25, as a part of Black Heritage Celebration, the Center for Gender Studies will present a lecture by E. Patrick Johnson, titled, "In Search of Countess Vivian: Queerness and the Making of Southern History." This event is part of a series titled, "The Politics of Sexual Freedom."
This presentation/lecture chronicles the life history of George Eagerson (aka “Countess Vivian”), a 98-year-old black gay man born and raised in New Orleans. In addition to featuring a documentary based on his reunion with George, Johnson argues in the paper that George’s life represents a queering of African American history that indexes a new way to think about the embodiment of black sexuality and the politics of sexual freedom. E. Patrick Johnson is Professor, Chair, and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Performance Studies and Professor in African American Studies at Northwestern University. A scholar/artist, Johnson has performed nationally and internationally and has published widely in the area of race, gender, sexuality and performance.
The lecture will be Tuesday, January 25 at 5:00 pm at Room 122 of the Social Science Research Building.
Below is a listing of some upcoming Black Heritage Celebration events around Chicago:
- The DuSable Museum of African American History presents a series of events throughout the month of February. For more information visit the museum website.
- The Chicago Park District also presents many Black History month events in February. For a list of events, click here.
- Navy Pier offers an exhibition honoring Black History month. For information click here.