Skip to main content

BSC marks Black History Month with film and the Harlem Renaissance | Bismarck State College

to the top of the page
Home Page

BSC marks Black History Month with film and the Harlem Renaissance

Published: Feb 04 2015
The Core Ensemble
The Core Ensemble in "Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance"
The Bismarck State College Embracing Diversity Committee presents a movie and a chamber music theatre performance in February as part of Black History Month.

Set in the 1930s, "The Great Debaters" film is an American period drama directed by and starring Denzel Washington and produced by Oprah Winfrey. Based on true events, the story revolves around efforts of a college debate coach to place his team on equal footing with whites during the days of the Jim Crow South. The team's efforts lead to a debate with Harvard. Showtime is 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12, in Basin Electric Auditorium, National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE).

On Tuesday, Feb. 17, the BSC Fine Arts Department co-sponsors The Core Ensemble in an evening length piece for actor and chamber music trio titled "Of Ebony Embers: Vignettes of the Harlem Renaissance." The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the NECE Bavendick Stateroom.

Both events have free admission.

Celebrating the music and poetry of the Harlem Renaissance era in New York City, "Of Ebony Embers" examines the lives of three renowned African-American poets, Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay, as seen through the eyes of muralist and painter Aaron Douglas.

In a script by Akin Babatunde, New York-based actor Jamyl Dobson portrays multiple characters while interacting with The Core Ensemble trio of cellist Ju Young Lee, pianist Chien-I Yang, and percussionist Michael Parola.

The piece takes place on an evening in January 1935 after the deaths of novelist Wallace Thurman and writer/physician Rudolf Fisher, icons of the Harlem Renaissance. The setting is a memorial dinner in their honor arranged by painter Aaron Douglas.

Woven throughout the theater narrative are works by jazz giants Duke Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus, as well as music composed by Jeffrey Mumford and George Walker.

Since 1993, The Core Ensemble has toured throughout the United States and internationally to Australia, England, Russia, Ukraine and British Virgin Islands. Venues include the Guggenheim Museum, Central Park SummerStage, Chautauqua Institution, and Fromm Series at Harvard University. The ensemble is recipient of the 2000 Eugene McDermott Award for Excellence in the Arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.