CU celebrates 400 years of African-Americans' resilience

September 19, 2019

Clarion University will host “Celebrating 400 Years of Resilience” Oct. 4. The day-long event, intended to promote a discourse on the 400-year history of African-Americans in this country, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m in Hart Chapel. An after party follows from 8 to 11 p.m. in Gemmell Food Court. The entire event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature speakers, including President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson; portrayals of Sojourner Truth, W.E.B. DuBois and Frederick Douglass; music from Calvin Stemley Jazz Quartet and the university's Lift Every Voice Choir; dance by the university's Hip Hop Dance and Kudets Step teams, and spoken word performances by students. Co-chairs are Dr. Uraina Pack and Dr. Brian Roberts, associate and assistant professors of English, respectively. For a complete schedule, visit

"'400 Years of Resilience' encompasses a range of speakers and performances that will contribute historical and cultural information and materials that represent the African diasporic experience," Pack said. "Although the event takes place in Clarion, it is rooted in African heritage, which is demonstrated in cultural expressions through stories, songs and dance."

"The theme that connects the presentations is resilience," Roberts said. "This resilience – or set of cultural tools – helped African-Americans to plant roots in this country 400 years ago, and these roots continue to grow today in the 21st century."

Sponsors are the black studies minor, the offices of Minority Student Services and Social Equity, the Department of English and Modern Languages, and the Presidential Commission on Racial Equity.

Last Updated 9/19/19