Marlboro College

News Black History Month Events at Marlboro College Accentuate the Positive


Marlboro, Vermont -- (January 18, 2011) -- Pop music during the 1960s civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance and 19th-century African-American farmers in Vermont comprise the wide array of subjects covered during Black History Month events at Marlboro College.

Vermont historian Elise Guyette kicks off the program on Monday, February 7 with a discussion of her 2010 book, Discovering Black Vermont: African-American Farmers in Hinesburgh, Vermont, 1790-1890. The book, which won the 2010 Award of Excellence from the Vermont Historical Society, tells the story of a small black community in northern Vermont which seems to have been accorded fair treatment and respect from its white neighbors during a period of U.S. history that spans legalized slavery and Jim Crow laws.

Guyette's lecture, which will take place at 7:00pm Ragle Hall, will take the audience through the process of discovering court documents, town records, newspaper articles and other primary sources to construct what the Valley News called, "a quintessential Vermont pioneering story." Copies of the book will be available for sale. There is no charge for admission.

william parkerJazz bassist William Parker brings an octet to the Whittemore Theater at 8:00pm on Friday, February 18 to perform music from his 2010 release, I Plan to Stay a Believer: The Inside Songs of Curtis Mayfield, which is the first project in Parker's 30-year career devoted to the music of another composer.  "If you had ears to hear, you knew that Curtis was a man with a positive message - a message that was going to help you to survive," Parker says of the man who wrote and performed songs like "People Get Ready," "We're a Winner," "Move on Up" and "Keep on Pushing," which became anthems of black power and black pride in the 1960s and 70s.

Parker's group will include several of the musicians who performed on the CD, including the poet/playwright/activist Amiri Baraka, who founded the Black Arts Movement in Harlem during the 1960s and authored the Obie-award winning 1964 play, Dutchman. Parker and Baraka will also meet with students and faculty to talk about Mayfield and the intersection between art and social consciousness among African-American during that era.

amiri barakaA limited number of tickets for the concert will be sold to the general public for $25, and can be purchased in advance at The concert will be free for Marlboro students, faculty and staff members with ID.

The following Monday, February 21, Author and UVM Professor Emily Bernard will be in Ragle Hall at 7:00pm to deliver a free lecture entitled, "Carl Van Vechten and the Harlem Renaissance." Bernard, whose book Carl Van Vechten: A Life in Black and White, will be published by Yale University press later this year, will discuss the power and potential of interracial friendships through the historical lens of Van Vechten's role as patron during this early twentieth century period.

Bernard's previous books include Remember Me to Harlem: the Letters of Langston Hughes and Carl Van Vechten, which was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 2001; Some of My Best Friends: Writers on Interracial Friendships, a collection of essays by some of the country's most prominent writers,  which was chosen by the New York Public Library as a "Book for the Teen Age" in 2004; and Michelle Obama: The First Lady in Photographs, a 2009 book she co-authored with Deborah Willis, that received an NAACP Image Award in the category of biography.

emily bernard

For more information, please contact the Marlboro College public relations office at 802-251-7644 or

Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, master's degree programs for working adults in the areas of educational technology, internet technologies, health care administration and an MBA in Managing for Sustainability. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont.









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