U.S. Embassy’s Black History Month Celebrations to Include an HBCU College Fair & Gospel Concert
U.S. Embassy Bridgetown has organized a number of activities for Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. This year’s festivities seek to promote awareness and appreciation of American diversity and pluralism in the context of the African American experience. The U.S. Embassy will host two free public events – a Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) College Fair at the Lloyd Sandiford Center on February 21 from 12 to 6pm and a free gospel concert featuring the Virginia State University Gospel Chorale at the Frank Collymore Hall on February 22 at 4pm.
The HBCU College Fair will feature a keynote address from Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, President of Alabama State University. Since a significant amount of prospective college students from the Caribbean are female, the U.S. Embassy wanted to showcase a distinguished, female alumna from the United States who could give a first-hand account of why she decided to attend two HBCUs, explain how her experience prepared her for success in the workplace, and highlight why an HBCU education has a unique appeal for Caribbean students. President Boyd is the first African American female president of Alabama State University and an alumna of two HBCUs, Howard University and Alabama State University. She was also the first African American woman to receive an M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at Yale University in 1979. President Boyd has won several prestigious national and international awards for her work and leadership in the community, as well as her contributions to the engineering field.
The concert will showcase the diversity of American performing arts and music. The VSU Gospel Chorale is known for its dynamic and soulful performances that leave audiences with a greater appreciation for American gospel music, a genre heavily influenced by the spirituals and hymns sung by African Americans in the 17th century. The VSU Gospel Chorale has toured extensively in the United States, Canada and Europe, performed at the Pope’s Vatican Christmas Concert and President Obama’s Inauguration, recorded various albums, and even appeared as quarter-finalists on the popular reality TV show, “America’s Got Talent.”