Black History Live
Middle school and high school students and general public
Nationally recognized scholars present portrayals of African-Americans who have made important contributions to U.S. History. In 2008 and 2009, Colorado Humanities reached over 5,000 students and adults with African American history programming during Black History Month.
In 2008, Colorado Humanities celebrated Black History Month with two presenters performing for two consecutive weeks in February. Charles Pace appeared as Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X and Bill Grimmette appeared as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Both performers presented in the Greeley, Denver and Colorado Springs areas at high schools, middle schools and public libraries.
In February, 2009, Colorado Humanities sponsored Awele Makeba in “I’m Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off,” a 90-minute one-woman interactive presentation depicting the Montgomery Bus Boycott through multiple character portrayals, including Rosa Parks. Ms. Makeba presented at five schools in Colorado Springs and Denver, in addition to the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and New Hope Baptist Church in Denver.
The following were comments made by teachers and project directors regarding Charles Pace as Malcolm X:
• Both the students and the adults were engaged, and those that spoke with me after the show expressed excitement over both the content and the presentation. (Overland High School)
• This was a wonderful presentation. Both students and faculty were very impressed and learned a great deal. They especially appreciated that the speaker presented the information in a manner that was engaging but sophisticated. (Smoky Hill High School)
• The performance was outstanding. One of the best we have experienced here at Blair-Caldwell. The students were very well behaved and had interesting questions to ask. I was impressed by the fact that afterwards students hung around to ask Charles questions.
The following comments were made by teachers and project directors regarding Bill Grimmette as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
• Very impressive. Clearly gave the feeling of being in Dr. King’s presence. Wonderful combination of well known and little-known information about the man and the events surrounding his life. (Overland High School)
• Simply awesome! Dr. King held all the student’s attention without incident. He was fantastic. I felt like I had gone back in time to spend an hour with one of my heroes. I could not have asked for me. (Greeley West High School)
The following comments were made by students from East High School regarding Awele Makeba’s program I’m Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off:
• Thank you so much for taking time to teach us about our history. Most of us have never heard these different stories and accounts of bravery before. It makes me proud to know that I come from a people with an amazing history that should be shared with all of the world.
• I learned more about my black heritage and who I am and where I came from. How passionate you were about what you were teaching and saying inspired me to recognize the fact that it is Black History Month and I need to take a step back and look at how far me and my people have come.
Program goal is to raise awareness of the contributions of African-American to our shared history and culture.
Anywhere in Colorado
Programs are held in February during Black History Month
Programs are free for students and of nominal cost to the public. Sponsorships are necessary for program implementation.
Community agencies wanting to host or fund a speaker during February need to contact Colorado Humanities between March and October of the previous year to get on the schedule. Check the Colorado Humanities calendar in January for the schedule of the Black History Live Tour.
Martin and Malcolm DVD
To find out about programs, read bios of the presenters and check the Colorado Humanities calendar in January for the schedule.