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Center for Black Culture and Research


April 19th, 2016

Black Graduate Recognition Ceremony & Garden Party with DJ Kid Capri this Thursday April 21, 2016? [May & December Graduates]
We at the Center for Black Culture and Research would like to congratulate you on the completion of your degree here at West Virginia University. And to commemorate this very special accomplishment, we would like to invite you to participate in two celebratory events.
Both events will be held on Thursday April 21, 2015, and are free and open to the public.
First, at 5PM we will be hosting the CBC&R Graduation Recognition Ceremony, which will be held at the Erickson Alumni Center. Here graduates will be honored, stoled, and presented with a special token of our esteem.
If you would like to participate in the Graduation Recognition Ceremony please go to our website , click on the “Black Graduates Ceremony Reservation Students” tab and complete and submit the form or call the Center at (304) 293-7029.
Or use the following direct link to the registration forms.
And after that, everyone is invited back to attend The CBC&R Graduation Garden Party. This event will be held in the Erickson Alumni Center Ballrooms at 7:00 p.m., and will feature music by DJ Kid Capri. This is a FREE Event.
We also encourage you to invite family and friends to attend both events. Just let us know how many people to include in your party.
We sincerely hope that you and your family will be able to join us, and we look forward to receiving your RSVP soon.
April 21 Black grads

February 16th, 2016

MORGANTOWN, W.Va-George C. Wolfe’s satirical commentary on the African-American experience, “The Colored Museum,” directed by Visiting Instructor of Acting Mya Brown, will be presented Feb. 23 and 24 at 7 p.m., in the Ballroom of the West Virginia University Mountainlair.

The performance is part of WVU’s Center for Black Culture and Research Black History Month events. “This play is an important piece of artwork which sheds a light on the stereotypical portrayal of African American’s in theatre, media, and society,” said director Mya Brown. “Mr. Wolfe has done an exceptional job of placing a magnifying glass up to the ridiculous assumptions made about black people and his approach is delightfully unapologetic. All audiences will be shocked and enlightened by the material presented in this play, but most importantly they will be changed.”

The Colored Museum takes its audience on a journey through several different museum exhibits which come to life to tell their stories. Wolfe intelligently combines satire with relatable historical/social commentary in order to divulge the essence of his play. In order for us to embrace each other we must embrace our differences. We cannot be afraid to laugh at ourselves or reflect upon our history, it is the only way we can progress. As Topsy, from Wolfe’s exhibit, The Party, so boldly states “Cause I’m not what I was ten years ago or ten minutes ago. I’m all of that and then some. And whereas I can’t live inside yesterday’s pain, I can’t live without it.”

The Colored Museum features WVU MFA theater students Imani Berry (W.E.B. DuBois Fellow) & Andra Ward, BFA musical theatre students Briana Gause, Kayla Banks, Deja Elliot, & Christin Wright, BA theatre student Ashley Mangie, MDS student Mphatso Mgangria, and WVU student Alex Barlas. Admission is free for The Colored Museum.

For more information on this production of The Colored Museum, please call 304-293-5935, or email
Colored Museum 1.2

February 11th, 2016

Former NBA Star Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and NCAA Women’s College Basketball star Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir will be coming to give a critical talk on February 15th, 2015, at 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair Ballrooms (located on the second floor). This is a collaborative program by the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research, The WVU Muslim Students Association, and the Islamic Center of Morgantown.

The program entitled The Full Court Press: Dribbling Through the Barriers with Faith is part of the sports theme of the annual LAMP (Leading Afro-American Muslim Professionals) Speaker Series, which is continuing for its 5th year. LAMP intends to create an educational environment in yielding awareness on Islam; fostering peace in the world, sharing an accurate understanding of Islam, and promoting its real image through practicing Muslims. Mahmoud and Bilqis are role models that continue to inspire and positively impact Americans and people across the world with their unique stories.

Mahmoud was a 1st round draft pick (1990 NBA Draft) out of LSU (3rd overall pick) to the Denver Nuggets and played during the Michael Jordan era of the flashy Chicago Bulls. While the Bulls were streaky hot in 1996, the team caught Mahmoud at the wrong time as he delivered 32 points on the night and one of his best career games against Michael “Air” Jordan for a Nuggets victory which snapped the Bulls 18 game winning streak record . He holds various basketball records at LSU, ranked with one of the highest NBA free throw percentages (behind Steve Nash), played in the 1993 NBA Slam Dunk contest, won the 1992 Most Improved NBA Player Award, and is regarded as one of the purest shooters and fastest players in league history by many sports analysts and basketball players. His experiences of living with and battling Tourrete’s Syndrome, growing up in an impoverished area of Mississippi, and having his NBA career hindered due to spiritual decisions continues to empower him and others through his life work.

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir is the founder of Muslim Girls Hoop Too and was a star basketball player at Indiana State University, Memphis State University, and a legend in the state of Massachusetts. She holds the state scoring record in Massachusetts, selected captain for her college teams, and garnered various college basketball accolades. During the 2011 NCAA Final Four Tournament, Bilqis was honored with the “Most Courageous Award.” Her outstanding accomplishments led her to become a special invited guest of President Obama, The First Lady Michelle Obama, and the White House. In addition, she was recently featured on the ESPN program Outside The Lines
She is famously known for being the first female player to fully cover herself according to Islamic standards during basketball competition which stopped her from playing at the professional level. The FIBA commission ruled her Islamic dress standards to be prohibited. While she continues to challenge the rules to pursue professional basketball, her passion for the sport is flourishing in her role as the athletic director at Pleasant View School.
LAMP 2016

February 5th, 2016

we are CANCELLING tonight’s 2nd Anuual Student Music Showcase event due to weather concerns. We will try re-scheduel this event for sometime in April.

The Center for Black Culture & Research 2nd Annual Music Showcase-
A night of great music from student acts! This year acts will work with a house band lead by WVU Graduate Student music director Donnie Lee. Student acts include Mountaineer Idol winner Derrick Ward, nationally known rapper Chris Allen, the soulful vocal trio of Edu, R&B singer KONA, Mountaineer Idol runner up Elizabeth Kiem, and hosted by DJ Dollar at the Gluck Theatre Mountainlair February 10, 2016 7PM
2nd Annual Music Showcase

January 29th, 2016

Conversations with Cops
Forum will open discussion between law enforcement and the WVU community
Mountainlair’s Shenandoah Room, WVU, 7-9PM, February 4, 2016: “Conversations with Cops” is an ongoing multicultural program series that seeks to foster positive communication between Morgantown law enforcement and the cultural communities that create WVU.

This is an open forum for students to communicate freely and openly with local law enforcement agencies about any pertinent subject. Representatives will be present from the Morgantown Police Department, the WVU University Police, the WV State Police, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and WellWVU’s panel on sexual assault prevention. The event will be moderated by Eric Jordan of the WVU Center for Black Culture & Research and Mariana Matthews of the WVU Peer Advocate Program.

This event will take place in the Shenandoah Room on the Downtown WVU Campus.

FREE PIZZA will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sponsored by the WVU Office of Multicultural Programs and the Morgantown Police Department, the WVU University Police, the WV State Police, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. For more information, please email: or call: 304-293-0890.

Facebook: WVU Multicultural Programs / Twitter: @WVMulticultural

January 29th, 2016


To celebrate Black History Month the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research and the WVU Food Justice Lab in the Geography Program will spotlight the central role and unique stories of people of color in promoting equity in our food system. Join us February 16th for an evening lecture by farmer and food justice activist Natasha Bowens entitled “The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming.”
Food justice is the concept that all people should have access to affordable, culturally appropriate, and nutritious food for a sustainable healthy life. Ensuring the well-being of farmers, workers, animals, and lands that make up our food system are also key elements of promoting food justice. People of color continue to be the largest population negatively impacted by injustices in our food system. Yet, people of color are also leading movements to make our food system more just.
From Dr. Martin Luther King’s explicit vision on food justice, First Lady Michelle Obama’s current initiatives for healthy food, to the Black Panther Party’s free breakfast program to feed children before school (which inspired the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school breakfast program), people of color continue to be major leaders in reforming the U.S. food system. Natasha Bowens is also an activist playing a pivotal role in the food system and continues to be an inspiration to people through her remarkable work.
Natasha Bowens is an author, beginning farmer and community activist who focuses on building empowerment and community with food and storytelling. Her book The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming is a book the Foreword Review calls “a trailblazing look at the past and present of North American farming” through the eyes of farmers of color. Natasha spent the past five years gathering stories and portraits of farmers and food activists from Black, Latina, Asian and Native communities across the country – stories that invite us to dig deep into race, culture and community for a truly sustainable food system. Natasha started The Color of Food in 2010 after exploring race and agriculture on her blog Brown.Girl.Farming. and Grist magazine. Her work has now garnered national attention such as The Atlantic, Mother Earth News, VICE, YES! Magazine and NPR.
The program will be Tuesday February 16th in the Rhododendron Room (Mountainlair, 2nd Floor) at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

January 7th, 2016

Monday January 18, 2016 at 8 AM join us at the Mountainlair Ballroom for our annual Martin Luther King Jr Breakfast. We will be presenting the MLK Scholarship Award. The Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship is awarded annually to a West Virginia University undergraduate student who has demonstrated an active interest and meaningful involvement in areas of human rights, civil rights, social justice and/or world peace, or other activities exemplary or reflective of the ideals and life of Dr. King.
Also we will be presenting MLK Achievement Award to the nominee from the state of West Virginia who best exemplifies one who is working to fulfill the commitment of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The awardee must be a resident of West Virginia and must have, or be making a substantial contribution in the advancement of such concerns as: civil rights, human rights, humanitarianism, social action and advocacy, civility, improving the human condition, acting as a change agent for an inclusive and equal society for all people.

Our speaker this year is WVU Alumni Charles Emanuel


Emanuel is the founding partner of The Emanuel Firm in Orlando, FL. A graduate of Florida Coastal School of Law, in Jacksonville, Florida, Mr. Emanuel received his Bachelor of Arts from WVU. He has extensive experience in products liability, catastrophic injury cases, brain damage cases, mass tort litigation, auto accidents, nursing home abuse, contract disputes and defamation litigation. He represents former NFL players against the NFL in the head concussion litigation. He was the first attorney to sue the NFL teams. Charles has been recognized by The National Black Lawyers Top 100 as one of the top 100 black attorneys in America.

Emanuel is a former NFL football player for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Prior to the NFL, he was a three year starter at strong safety for the West Virginia Mountaineers and was a team captain of the 1996 team. During his collegiate football career, Charles earned a Big East Championship, played in the 1993 Sugar Bowl, 1995 Carquest Bowl and 1996 Gator Bowl. Charles was honored with the Fred Schaus’ Award, as the universities top team captain, Iron Mountaineer Award, the Ideal Mountaineer Award and Ira Rogers Awards for leadership and academics. Charles received the Jackie Robinson/Wilma Rudolph Award and finished in the top 20 WVU career tackles.

He enjoys volunteering his time coaching youth football and serving as a board member for Lake Nona Jr Lions and Lake Nona YMCA. He and his wife financially support several youth sports leagues and local schools in the Orlando area.

Charles is married to West Virginia University graduate Christine Emanuel and they have three boys, Charles III, Carter and Cole. The family resides in Orlando, Florida.

When: January 18, 2016
Where: Mountainlair Ballroom West Virginia University
Time: 8 AM
2016 Breakfast Poster_LO1