This year, to celebrate Black History Month, the Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College (MEC), CUNY, will present a host of informative and inspiring events celebrating 10 years of honoring the literature of people of the African diaspora.

As part of the college’s programs, the center will sponsor two exciting literary events: “Harlem Nocturne: Illuminating Women Artist” on Feb. 19, and — under the college’s Black History Month theme “Reclaiming Our Ancestral Legacy through Courage, Strength, and Fortitude” — a discussion with Retha Powers, author of “Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations,” on Feb. 26. Both events are free and open to the public.

“Harlem Nocturne: Illuminating Women Artists” features Columbia University professor and author Farah Jasmine Griffin, who will discuss her book Harlem Nocturne: Women Artists and Progressive Politics During World War II.

This year, Harlem Nocturne focuses on the lives of novelist Ann Petry, dancer Pearl Primus, and musician Mary Lou Williams, who all came from different backgrounds and integrated various art forms in their work, and left an indelible mark on Black culture.

Professor Griffin will be in conversation with Robert Reid-Pharr, professor of English and American Studies and director of The Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC). The program takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., at the CUNY Graduate Center; Room C197, 365 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10016.

This program is produced in collaboration with IRADAC and serves as a preconference program for the Twelfth National Black Writers Conference, which will be held Thursday, March 27 –Sunday, March 30.

For another literary program, author Retha Powers will discuss her latest book, Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations, on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., in the Edison O. Jackson Auditorium, Academic Building [AB1] on the campus of Medgar Evers College (1638 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn. Powers will discuss the research for the book and then read a few quotations.

Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations has been described by the New York Times as “a necessary and preternaturally lively new reference book…It is not only the most comprehensive book of quotations from Black thinkers over some 5,000 years of recorded history, but it also possesses something no other book of quotations quite does: a potent and sweeping narrative arc.”

For more information about CBL and the Center’s events and programs, please visit us online at: Search “Center for Black Literature” on Phone: 718-804-8883; E-mail: [email protected].

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