Upperman African American Cultural Center

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Africana Lecture and
Film Series
Art Exhibits Sankofa Programming
Special Events and
Collaborations
Signature Programs The Art of Narration Cultural Excursion
Black Fridays The Excellence Project Watch & Learn: Watch Parties & Discussions
Click here for a .pdf version of the calendar.

January 2017

Tuesday, January 10 
Being Mary Jane Watch Party
8 p.m., Upperman Center

Join The Upperman Center as we celebrate the return of “Being Mary Jane” to BET.  Black women students are encouraged to come and meet UNCW's own Black professional women, as we discuss the many topics explored in the show that chronicle what it means to be a successful Black Woman in a world that often provides unique pitfalls.

Thursday,January 12
Art Crawl featuring Unspoken by Gemynii
7:30 p.m., Upperman Center

Join the Upperman Center as we participate in the University’s first Annual Art Crawl, featuring the paintings of Gemynii, who is a self taught artist.  Her paintings focus mainly on abstract portraits of people of color and is influenced heavily by social issues, music, body and gender acceptance, and the overall Black experience.   In her show for the center, Gemynii’s work asks us to reconcile the Black body with what is  “unspoken”…truth, narrative, resilience, and beauty.  It is yours to consider. Co-sponsored with Campus Life Arts & Programs.

Friday, January 13
Black Friday: Red Alert
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center
We begin our spring Black Friday series with a tribute to all things Delta Sigma Theta.  Come out and support this event, meant to show you the beauty of Black Greek Life, and learn a little something about what makes Delta the epitome of Black Girl Magic.
Saturday, January 14
Do You Know Your Other Greek Letters?
3:30 p.m., Warwick Center

Have you been thinking about becoming a member of the Divine Nine, the historically Black Greek Letter Organizations whose memberships include Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Toni Morrison, James Weldon Johnson, Aretha Franklin, MC Lyte, Byron Cage and Sarah Vaughn?  If so, join the Unstoppable UNCW NPHC for an overview of, question & answers, and reception about what it takes to be an NPHC member at UNCW.  Co-sponsored with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. To register, click here.

Monday, January 16
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade
11 a.m., Downtown Wilmington 
Wilmington honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King with a week of events dedicated to him and his work ending with Monday's commemorative parade. For more information, visit The Martin Luther King Celebration Committe of Southeastern North Carolina. 
Thursday, January 19
MLK Celebration with Roland Martin
7 p.m., Kenan Auditorium 

Join us for our annual Martin Luther King Jr. observance, as we host news and political commentator, Roland Martin, host and managing editor of News One Now.  

Friday, January 20
Black Friday: Work, Work, Work 
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

Come celebrate all things Rihanna on her birthday in Upperman, as we enjoy all of the music traditions of the Caribbean, especially Barbados and Guyana.

Friday, January 27
Black Friday: Revenge of the Blerds
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center 

Black + Nerd = Blerd.  Join us in a day that celebrates your inner and outer nerd as we veer into Afro-Futurism, comics/graphic novels, vintage and neo-gaming…and literally all things cool about being a dope Black introvert.

February 2017

Wednesday, February 1
AFN130 Guest Lecture with Chris Everett
11 - 12 p.m., Lumina Theater 

All month long in February, The Upperman Center will host independent movies on the black experience.  Our first movie is “Wilmington on Fire,” which is a feature-length documentary that will give a historical and present day look at the Wilmington Massacre of 1898.  Join us, as we host the film’s director and producer, Christopher Everett, in a full day’s discussion about the implications of his profound project. Co-Sponsored by The Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Wednesday, February 1
Mahogany Matinee: Wilmington on Fire
12 - 2 p.m., Lumina Theater 
Wednesday, February 1
Evening Showing and Panel Discussion: Wilmington on Fire
6 - 8 p.m., Lumina Theater 
Friday, February 3
Black Friday: It's a Family Reunion 
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

Everybody will be there…because it’s homecoming.  And any time you go home, there must be good food, and line dancing.  Join the Upperman Center that welcomes alums home for a full out family affair.

Friday, February 3
Etched in Gold - Upperman Center Mixer 
7 p.m., Azalea Coast Room 

Join the Upperman African American Cultural Center for an evening dipped in soul, where you get to wear your favorite little black dress or your tailored evening suit. Come dance the night away, enjoy libations, and the company of your peers for homecoming. To register for this event, click here.

Saturday, February 4 
UNCW Homecoming Step Show
12 p.m., Kenan Auditorium 

Ever been to a step show, an art form that NPHC organizations invented to tell the story of their history through rhythm, precision, and dance? Come watch teams from around the southeast compete for the title of UNCW Step Show Champion!  And, a few home team favorites from the University are bound to make an appearance. Co-Sponsored by NPHC and Fraternity and Sorority Life. To purchase tickets for this event, click here.

Sunday, February 5
Upperman Fellowship Service
10 a.m., Burney Center

As Homecoming weekend comes to a close, the Upperman African American Cultural Center invites alumni from all faith traditions and religious backgrounds to join us for a universal fellowship service to conclude the weekend. We invite you to help us celebrate the diversity of experiences in our alumni body! To register for this event, click here.

Wednesday, February 8
Mahogany Matinee: Searching for Shaniqua 
12 - 2 p.m., Lumina Theater

Searching for Shaniqua is a documentary that examines the impact that unique, Afrocentric, Islamic and so-called “ghetto” names have on people’s lives. Join us for this important viewing.  Co-Sponsored by the North Carolina Black Film Festival.

Wednesday, February 8 
Master Class: African American Social Dance
6:30 p.m., McNeil Hall, 1051

This class is taught by a single Company Dancer. Additional Company dancers are needed when a class has more then 25 students and must be scheduled in advance. Students should be prepared to move throughout the class. It is requested that students prepare for the class by reviewing the Reference & Resource Guide for BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, which can be provided by Company Management. To register, click here. 

Thursday, February 9 
Camille Brown
7:30, Kenan Auditorium 

Rooted in the African-American vernacular, this movement workshop with Camille A. Brown and members of CABD celebrates the power of African-American social dance and its impact and influence on American dance forms throughout history. Using JUBA ("pattin juba") as a jumping off point, participants are taken on a social dance journey. From "the wing" to "the whip", attendees investigate the ways communities used movement as a way of protest, liberation, and/or healing. By learning about the past, it is Camille's hope that the spirit of expression through movement is embodied in our present day – providing the individual with a platform to celebrate their identity and to share their personal expression with the community of participants.

Friday, February 10 
Black Friday: Motown Supreme
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center 

Once upon a time, the sound of Motown was the sound of Black America.  Join us for a day-long exploration of what it means to be a Supreme in the Motown era for Black Fridays.

Tuesday, February 14 
#BlackLoveIsBeautiful
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center 

Write yourself a love note.  Commit to loving yourself.  Find your own sense of Nia (purpose).  On Valentine’s Day, we interrupt this commercial holiday, with a Neo-Soul vibe that will have you falling in love with melanin time and time again.  Today is about a radical expression of love.  Join us.

Wednesday, February 15
Mahogany Matinee: The Arrangements
12 - 2 p.m., Lumina Theater 

Come meet Tanya Fermin, and see her short, “The Arrangements.”  It is a story about  three sisters who sit around the dining room table discussing the final arrangements for their mother as they reflect on her life.  This work is based on a true story.

Friday, February 17
Black Friday: I Think Its Time to Go-Go
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

“It don’t mean a thang, if it don’t got that Go-Go swing,” said Chuck Brown.  On this Black Friday, we explore all things Washington DC, from Ben’s Chili Bowl, to Gentrification, to the musical legacy of Go-Go.

Wednesday, February 22
Mahogany Matinee: Tress, 
Artists and Angels Masters of Natural Hair

12 - 2 p.m., Lumina Theater

Come watch a movie about the journey of discovering uniqueness. Men and women in the hair care industry blend modern and ancient techniques of hair styling restoring and empowering to reclaim one's own self-esteem. Co-Sponsored by the NC Black Film Festival.

Friday, February 24
Black Friday: #OscarsSoBlack
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center 

Join us as we celebrate the many Black actors, actresses, directors, producers whose artistic gifts chronicle Black stories.  This Black Friday is dedicated to considering the wide contributions of Black people in film.

Saturday, February 25
Cultural Excursion: Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC

Seating is limited, but we invite you to “get on the bus” as we visit Greensboro’s International Civil Rights Movement Museum and share in some good soul food on one of Greensboro’s local spots.  Join us for a day trip Cultural Excursion.

Sunday, February 26
Black History Month Quiz Bowl
2 p.m., Lumina Theater

This event is designed to broaden your students’ perspective on African American achievements in
topics ranging from science, politics, entertainment and more. Go head-to-head with other schools and organizations in a friendly and educational competition!

Tuesday, February 28
Mardi Gras
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

It’s Fat Tuesday in the Center! Join us as we explore all things New Orleans for Mardi Gras, including food, music, and of course Black Culture. 

March 2017

Friday, March 17
Black Friday: The Color Purple (Black Girl Magic Reprise) 
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center
Named in honor of Alice Walker’s timeless book, this Black Friday seeks to explore all things Womanist.  Join us for a day of Black Girl Magic.
Friday, March 24
Black Friday: Writing on the Wall
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

In honor of our visitors from the Nile Project, this Black Friday seeks to consider how North Africans are indeed Africans through their contributions of literature, thought, theology, food and dance.

March 24 - 25
The Nile Project
(Various Times)

From its debut concert, captured live on the 2013 release entitled ASWAN, it was clear that the Nile Project was something completely new. National Public Radio named the recording one of five “Must Hear International Albums.” Fast forward a few years – through tours in Africa, Europe, the US and UAE – and almost all major media outlets agree that the Nile Project is much more than just a band.  The New York Times described it as “a committed, euphoric international coalition.” Afropop Worldwide calls it “seductive and beautiful […] nothing short of revolutionary.”  Join us as we welcome the Nile Project to UNCW. For more information, click here.

Friday, March 31
Black Friday: Primetime Blackness
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

Remember Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or The Cosby Show or Gimmie A Break, well let’s just say today is a refresher course of all things Black on television.  Join us as we look at the roles of Blacks on network TV.

April 2017

Saturday, April 1 
UNCW Seahawk Preview Day 
9 a.m., Burney Center
Join the Upperman Center, in a day of activity, as we welcome our newest admits to become a part of the Seahawk nation.
Friday, April 7 
Rosenwald Schools Conference 
Education Building, Time: TBA 

In conjunction with the work of the UNCW School of Education, Upperman invites you to participate in a day-long conference that seeks to explore the contributions of the Rosenwald Schools, which educated many African Americans in the rural south prior to integration.

Friday, April 7
Black Friday: The Phreshmen Class 
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

Each year, XXL magazine releases an issue that focuses in on up and coming artists in Hip Hop.  Join Bigg B and the Alphas for a listening party that seeks to let you know what new and emerging artists are on the rise in Hip Hop.  Co-Sponsored by Omicron Theta of Alpha Phi Alpha.

Saturday, April 15
Cultural Excursion: National Museum of Black History and Culture 
Washington, DC

Join the Upperman Center as it endeavor’s to visit the recently opened Smithsonian National Museum for African American History & Culture.  The Upperman Center invites 20 students to participate in a weekend trip that will expose students both the museum and other forms of iconic cultural idioms emanating from the DC area.  Space is limited.  Co-Sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and the University College.

Tuesday, April 18
Colors of the Diaspora 
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

Join us for a pop-up art and fashion show here in the Upperman Center! This is an opportunity for you to showcase your talent. Now accepting submissions (traditional, digital and film) and seeking models, poets and more! Contact mitchame@uncw.edu for more information! 

Friday, April 21 
Black Friday: Deep Fried Bars
12 - 4 p.m., Upperman Center

Everybody knows that Southern Hip Hop brings with it a certain kind of twang and expression that only the south can provide.  Come explore the contributions of artists like Outkast, Rhasody, and Arrested Development in a day filled with food, fellowship, and sound.  Join us for our last Black Friday of the academic year.

May 2017

Friday, May 5
Spring Senior Sankofa
10:30 a.m., Education Building
Senior Sankofa was established in 1999 by the African American Graduate Association (AAGA) and the Upperman African American Cultural Center. Sankofa is a West African word in the Akan language meaning “wisdom in learning from the past to build for the future” and symbolizes an African rite of passage. The Sankofa Graduation Ceremony is a reception celebrating the success of students within the African diaspora at UNCW.

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