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University of the Pacific
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Stockton, California 95211
209.946.2011

Past Celebrations

Highlights from over the years....

2015 - Author, scholar and political activist Dr. Angela Davis gave a lecture discussing ways to combat oppression and the need for gender equity and prison reform. Poet and professor Dr. Rowan Ricardo Phillips, demonstrated how he creates art through language during an interactive poetry reading. Gospelfest wrapped up the month’s celebration with performances from Anthony Brown and Group Therapy, and the largest selling female gospel group of all time, The Clark Sisters.

2014 - Grammy and Oscar Award winning hip hop artist and actor Common, performed at the Bob Hope Theatre and spoke about how each individual can make impactful change in the world. Poet Claudia Rankine, shared poems during an evening of poetry readings at Wendell Phillips Center and shared insights with Pacific students about the process of creative writing. The month ended with the spirit-filled performance from the #1 gospel recording artist in America, Tye Tribbett, at Gospelfest.

2013 - NBA's all time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabbar lectured about his love of history and how it has impacted him. He also discussed the value of team work and how we can all make a difference in our community. Grammy Award Winner Anthony Hamilton discussed his career and work with CASA(Court Appointed Special Advocates) and performed. Grammy Nominee Anita WIlson and Stellar Award winner JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise performed at the Gospelfest.

2012 - Grammy Award winner India Arie gave a lecture and performance in her songversation . Gospel Artists James Fortune and Deon Kipping particiated in the Gospelfest. Poet Tyhembia Jessdid a lecture and poetry reading.

2011 - Author and actor Hill Harper gave a lecture. Harper's known for his New York Times best-selling books aimed at inspiring black youth, and his role on  the television series "CSI: New York." The celebration's first Apollo Night competition was also held.

2010 - CNN Journalist Soledad O' Brien, correspondent of the "Black in America" documentary series, participated in a moderated discussion/interview. The documentaries (part 1 and 2), which explored issues impacting African-Americans, were shown as part of the celebration's film series.

2009 - Actor and human rights activist Danny Glover performed "An Evening with Langston and Martin" with friend and fellow actor Felix Justice. The two-man play consists of dramatic readings from the works of poet Langston Hughes and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

2008 - Rapper and activist Chuck D of the politically conscious rap group Public Enemy spoke. "The Meeting," a critically acclaimed play about the lives and philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, was performed.

2007 - Cartoonist Aaron McGruder, creator of the "The Boondocks" comic strip and animated television series gave a lecture. World-renowned African ballet troupe Le Ballet performed.

2006 - Scholar Dr. Michael Eric Dyson gave a lecture. Dyson has written numerous books, including Holler if You Hear MeIs Bill Cosby Right? and I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. The Kennedy Center also put on the play "Color Me Dark".

2005 - Scholar Dr. Cornel West, author of the best-selling book Race Matters, gave a lecture. His writings have been credited with helping change the course of American dialogue on race, justice and democracy.

2004 - Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker gave a lecture. Walker is best known for her novel Color Purple, which was made into a motion picture of the same name.

2003 - Influential film director Spike Lee, known for such films as "Malcolm X" and "Do The Right Thing" spoke. His films often capture various aspects of the Black experience and address controversial issues.

2002 - Author Terry McMillian, who penned the best-selling novel Waiting to Exhale, spoke on campus. Other speakers included painter Faith Ringgold and Civil Rights attorney and activist Benjamin Hooks.

2001  - Singer, comedian and television host Wayne Brady performed during two shows for Pacific's Black History Month celebration.