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Angela Davis (pictured), Melba Beals, The Clark Sisters, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips are the featured guests as University of the Pacific celebrates Black History Month.

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Davis, Beals among featured lecturers for Black History Month 2015

Grammy Award-winning The Clark Sisters headline Gospelfest
Jan 21, 2015

Activists Angela Davis and Melba Beals, gospel legends The Clark Sisters, and award-winning poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips are among the featured guests as University of the Pacific celebrates Black History Month.

Pacific students, faculty and staff throughout February will be sponsoring and hosting events to honor the history and heritage of African-Americans and the Africa Diaspora. The events include a keynote speaker, gospel concert, poetry reading, roundtable discussions and various guest lecturers.

The theme for this year's celebration is "A Century of Black Life, History and Culture." 

"It's great we have an opportunity to celebrate the contributions African-Americans have made," said Shannel Hawkins, student co-chair of Pacific's Black History Month Planning Committee. "We are once again collaborating with campus groups and alumni and community leaders to present excellent speakers, music and poetry, 'real talk' discussions and more."

Here are some of the highlighted events:

Feb. 3, Tuesday - Melba Beals, journalist and member of the Little Rock Nine, will lecture at 7 p.m. at Faye Spanos Concert Hall. The Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students, were the first to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her lecture will be on empowerment and her book, "Warriors Don't Cry." Admission is free, but seating is limited. 

Feb. 17, Tuesday - Author, scholar and political activist Angela Davis will lecture at Faye Spanos Concert Hall at 7 p.m. Davis is internationally known for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression and is a strong advocate of gender equity and prison reform. This event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

Feb. 26, Thursday - A presentation by poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips will be at 7 p.m. in the Presidents Room. Winner of the 2013 Whiting Writer's Award, Phillips will share how he unravels the world and finds ways to create art with language. Admission is free, but seating is limited.

Feb. 27, Friday - Capping off Pacific's Black History Month is Gospelfest 2015 featuring the legendary Grammy Award-winning gospel group, The Clark Sisters. With a recording career spanning four decades, The Clark Sisters are the largest selling female gospel group of all time. Anthony Brown and Group therAPy will open the show. Their song "Testimony" was named the most popular gospel song of 2013 by Billboard. The concert will be 7-10 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Bob Hope Theatre, 242 E. Main St., Stockton. Tickets are $25-45 in advance, $30-50 the day of the concert. Purchase online at or the Stockton Arena Box Office; Pacific students may purchase tickets for $15 with Pacific ID at the DeRosa University Center (Pacific Cash accepted). 

"I am very proud of the hard work the committee has put into make this celebration a success," said Randall Ogans, staff co-chair of Pacific's Black History Month Planning Committee. "We are proud to have this celebration in Stockton and really appreciate the support we get from the community year after year."

Others who have performed or lectured during past celebrations include NBA legend and author Kareem Abdul Jabbar; scholar Dr. Cornel West; author Alice Walker; actor Danny Glover; filmmaker Spike Lee; Grammy Award winners India.Arie and Common. The Pacific Arts and Lectures Committee, Office of the Provost, Beyond Our Gates, Benerd School of Education, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Ethnic Studies Department and Pacific Alumni Association, Office of Admissions are co-sponsoring events throughout the month. For more information about Pacific's Black History Month celebration, please call Pacific's Multicultural Center at 209.946.7707. Or visit the website at

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