Celebrating Blackness in White Spaces: Black History Month at LSTC

January 23, 2020

The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago’s (LSTC) theme for Black History Month is Celebrating Blackness in White Spaces. Free events will be held on campus throughout the month.

The theme is rooted in the Freed in Christ: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture campaign launched in 1993 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). The campaign’s purpose is toexpress the ELCA’s calling to celebrate culture and ethnicity, confront racism, and engage in public leadership. It is to this end that the students and staff of color at LSTC have organized this Black History Month celebration around the theme Celebrating Blackness in White Spaces.

According to keynote speaker Pastor Lenny Duncan, author of Dear Church: A Love Letter From a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S., “It is time for the church to rise up, dust itself off, and take on forces of this world that act against God: whiteness, misogyny, nationalism, homophobia, and economic injustice.”

It is in response to issues confronting today’s church, that the students and staff of color selected the theme for this year’s celebration.

The monthlong celebration will kick off on Wed., Feb. 5, with a worship service at 11:15 a.m. with Bishop Yehiel Curry, ELCA Metropolitan Synod of Chicago, preaching. Weekly chapel worship will feature Black liturgical traditions.

Other Black history events include a keynote address by the Rev. Lenny Duncan on Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m., which will include an evening of worship, music and words of inspiration, followed by a reception. Earlier that same day, Rev. Duncan will lead an intergenerational panel discussion on “The Past, Present and Future of Black Leadership in the Lutheran Church.”

An interactive music workshop led by the renowned musician Dr. Keith “Doc” Hampton and Professor Roxanne Stevenson will be held Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. This workshop will explore the history and legacy of Black American Music, via a musical journey through gospel and jazz. Workshop participants will journey through the history of Black music while playing their musical instrument.

On Feb. 10 at 5 p.m., a panel of noted theologians including Rev. Dr. Lee Butler, Dr. Beverly Wallace and Dr. Marvin Wick ware Jr. will discuss “Celebrating Black Presence in White Dominated Spaces,” as they explore the issues of race and racism amidst White supremacy and White privilege.

Additional events during the month include a Community Health and Resource Fair on Feb. 22 with conversations on Black Health and free screenings. Throughout the month, Black Art will be displayed throughout the building with a presentation on the history of Black Art by Bronzeville’s renowned Gallery Guichard.

About Black History Month
Black History month began as “Negro History Week” in 1926 by famed Negro scholar, historian and author Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Together they declared the second week of February to be “Negro History Week.” The goal of the event was to educate and empower Blacks throughout the Americas by acknowledging Black achievement. In 1976, Negro History Week became Black History Month, and today it is celebrated thought the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The 2020 Black History Month celebration at LSTC is the result of deep conversations, intensive planning and diligent work by a committee of Black students, staff and faculty to highlight the history and accomplishments of Black Americans. This program has been made possible thanks to support from the LSTC Office of Student Services, LSTC’s Pero Multicultural Center, the Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the ELCA, the Chicago Chapter of the African Descent Lutheran Association and many private donors. Some donations from the event will also be used to fund the Rev. Carol A. Burns and Grover Wright Scholarships for students of color at LSTC.

Admission is free for all events, and all are welcome!

For a complete schedule of events, including dates and times, visit lstc.edu. For more information contact: Langston Roberson at 773. 256.0712.


Langston Roberson Gift Processing and Data Services Manager 773.256.0712 langston.roberson@lstc.edu

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