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Black History Month Begins

At the Martin Luther King Memorial in Albany: Congressman Paul Tonko, Mayor Kathy Sheehan and County Executive Dan McCoy. (January 2014)
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Black History Month is here, with a full calendar of events throughout February. Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas  previews some of the first in the region.

At this hour in Albany at the County Office Building, the start of African American History Month is being promoted as "an important time to look back and reflect on the advancements made in equality here in Albany County as well as the nation as a whole."

Mary Rozak is Director of Communications for Albany County: She says County Executive Dan McCoy is keen on encouraging diversity.     "February becomes a month where the county executive is hosting several different types of events to celebrate diversity, and bring attention to the changing face of Albany County. Today's event is a kick off for the month-long celebration which will focus on civil rights and equality. And what has been a struggle. A continuing struggle. But one that is being hard-fought and well-received. That's the struggle to make sure that everyone is treated equally, because everyone is created equally. And whether it be on the job, whether it be in a social setting, we are examining and highlighting how we are able to achieve this.”

The Sage Colleges are preparing a full slate of events at both the Albany and Troy campuses - Andor Skotnes is a Professor of History.  "This year we've made a big effort to put on a wide variety of programs on both campuses. And these include a number of movies, both documentaries and cinematic movies. A number of cultural events, from step-dancing to African dance to a cultural cafe with African and African-American food. A highlight of the month will be a keynote address which will be held on the Troy by Penelope Andrews who is the dean and president of Albany Law. She is going to be speaking on Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela - the long arc of justice.  Penny is South African, and was involved in writing the new South African Constitution."

Upcoming events at Sage include:

  • Guest speakers Alice Green, executive director of the Center for Law and Justice and Penelope Andrews, dean and president of Albany Law School
  • The Created Equal film set - Slavery By Another Name, Freedom Riders, The Loving Story and No Way Out. The series is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
  • The Bokandeye African American Dance Theater

For a full listing of events, dates and timesCLICK HERE.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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