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OCC Launches Black History Month Celebration
Thursday, February 13, 2014

Special Events Include Concert, Films and Presentations

“Black History Month and the Langston Hughes Project,” a multicultural celebration and observance of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, will highlight a series of Black History Month events starting this week at Orange Coast College. The public is invited to the free concert, on Thursday, February 27, at 1:45 p.m. in the Robert B. Moore Theatre.

The program is a part of a series of Black History Month events sponsored by the OCC International and Multicultural Committee (IMC), OCC Foundation and the OCC Library. The community is invited to join students at a variety of free campus events through February 28.

Rendell Drew, OCC professor of political science, will open the February 27th program with a presentation of King’s historic speech followed by a multimedia concert performance of “Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz” by Langston Hughes, a black poet and social activist in the early 1960s. Ron McCurdy, music director and composer, orchestrates the original musical based on the poetry Langston Hughes. McCurdy is professor of music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (USC).

The multimedia presentation is the main feature of a two-week observance of Black History Month that starts on campus this week. OCC’s Black History Month programming was made possible by a $1,200 grant the OCC Library received as a part of the Bridging Cultures Initiative sponsored by the National Endowments of Humanities. OCC received a copy of the civil rights film series from the Gilder Lehrman Institute as a part of the grant, “Created Equal: U.S. Civil Rights Struggle.”

The films will be presented on campus in the Student Center Lounge from February 13 through February 27. The two-week long event begins Thursday, February 13, with a screening of “The Loving Story” at 11:30 a.m. On Thursday, February 20 the film, “The Girls in the Band” will screen at 1:30 p.m. On Thursday, February 27, film clips from “The Abolitionists” and “Slavery by Another Name” will be shown starting at 11:30 a.m. The films will be followed by discussions.

“Freedom Riders,” will wrap up OCC’s Black History Month events at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, February 28, in the Giles Brown Forum. The movie will be followed by a discussion and a UMOJA student panel. UMOJA is a campus program dedicated to the enhancement of cultural and educational experiences of African Americans and other students.

The four documentary films received with the grant are available for viewing in the OCC Library.

What: “Black History Month and the Langston Hughes Project”
Presentation by Rendell Drew, OCC professor of political science
“Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz” by Langston Hughes

When: 1:45 p.m., Thursday, February 27

Where: Orange Coast College Robert B. Moore Theatre
2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa

Admission: Free, Public Invited

Parking: Metered parking/permit dispenser
Lots C & D, Fairview Rd. and Arlington Ave.

Contact: Juan Gutierrez, Director, OCC Public Relations & Marketing
(714) 432-5725

Rendell Drew, OCC Social Sciences
(714) 0202, ext. 21029


Orange Coast College, founded in 1947, is one of the nation's top transfer schools. With a student population of 22,000, OCC provides exemplary programs leading to Associate in Arts degrees, Associate in Science degrees and 145 career programs. The college's 164-acre campus is located in the heart of Costa Mesa. For complete details about OCC, visit orangecoastcollege.edu.