Every year in February we celebrate Black History Month.
On February 1, U.S. Ambassador G. Kathleen Hill hosted a concert performed by an international team of talented musicians, including American guitarist Satik Andriassian. Prof. John Kennedy, Professor of Music at California State University, Los Angeles, and currently the Fulbright Scholar at the University of Malta, introduced the compositions included in the concert. The concert, attended by about 40 music enthusiasts, celebrated Black History Month and featured compositions by African-American composer and musician, Justin Holland.
The following week, Embassy Officer, Nathan Johnson, introduced the documentary “Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson” at the U.S. Embassy to 30 guests. The film tells the story of the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion.
We continued to celebrate Black History Month with visits to schools. Public Affairs Officer, Susan Ross, presented on Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use” to a group of 50 English Literature high school students. In the story, Walker examines the transformation of African American life and identity in the 1960s and 70s. Embassy staffer, Oliva Casero, met with a group of elementary school students at a local school and read the award-winning picture-book “Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Finally, we finished off the month’s celebrations with a radio interview on Connect Africa. Deputy Chief of Mission, Terrence R. Flynn, shared his passion for African-American music. He discussed some of his favorite tunes, many of them jazz and blues classics by famous musicians such as Sam Cooke, Billie Holiday, and Ray Charles.