Community Invited to Celebrate Africa Week at Willamette University

Willamette University's African Studies Club will host its fourth annual celebration of Africa with multiple free public events during the week of Feb. 16-21.

The events for this year's Africa Week are centered around the theme, "Africa Around Us: Recognizing the Contributions of Africa and the African Diaspora throughout the Globe."

The week's events include:

Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Hatfield Room, Hatfield Library: Renowned art historian Sylvester Ogbechie will discuss African art's impact on the arts and cultures of the West. A professor at University of California, Santa Barbara, Ogbechie has an extensive scholarly background in classical, modern and contemporary African and African Diaspora arts.

Feb. 17, 11:30 a.m., Cone Chapel: Art Professor Andries Fourie will host an interdisciplinary panel discussion of Joseph Conrad's 1899 novella, The Heart of Darkness. This discussion will analyze the novella's cultural context and effect on the perception of Africans today.

Feb. 18, 8 p.m., Cat Cavern: The film "La Raiz Olvidada," or "The Forgotten Root," will be shown. This film reveals the often forgotten African ancestry of Mexican culture -- Africans brought as slaves to Mexico or slaves who escaped the U.S.

Feb. 19, 3 p.m., Hatfield Room, Hatfield Library: A panel of Willamette students, faculty and community members will discuss their organizations and actions in the spirit of activism and advocacy for African issues.

Feb. 19, 9 p.m., Bistro coffee shop: The Black Student Union will host an open mic night with the theme "Africa Speaks: An Evening of Spoken Word and Poetry from Africa and the African Diaspora." The community is invited to read poetry, sing or tell stories.

Feb. 21, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cat Cavern: An Africa Celebration and market invites visitors to shop for jewelry, crafts, drums, clothing and artwork while supporting humanitarian projects in Africa and local entrepreneurs in Oregon. Bush Elementary School's La Marimbanda will play at noon, followed by a performance from Kudana Marimba. Ghanaian drummer and dancer Obo Addy will hold an African dance workshop at 2:30 p.m. African cuisine and a giant puzzle map of Africa are also part of the festivities.

All week: African cuisine will be served in Goudy Commons, Cat Cavern and the Bistro. The Elizabeth Bowers Zambia Education Fund (EBZEF) will display photos, books and artifacts on Hatfield Library's second floor for the month of February to celebrate the completion of the organization's memorial library in the village of Lumwana West in Zambia.

For more information about any of these events, contact Willamette's anthropology department at (503) 370-6615 or email the African Studies Club at