January 29, 2016

Brazile, Campbell Brothers, Abani

As Black History Month unfolds across February, Amherst College will host a musical performance by the Campbell Brothers Sacred Steel Guitars, presentations by renowned political consultant Donna Brazile and best-selling author Chris Abani, and various other events.

The Campbell Brothers kick off Black History Month three days early, on Friday, Jan. 29. Performing at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center, the Campbell Brothers bring African-American worship traditions into the spotlight with their interpretation of music from the Holiness-Pentecostal repertoire. Their unique sound is characterized by the soulful, wailing tone of the pedal steel guitar. Tickets can be purchased online or by email: concerts@amherst.edu

Veteran political strategist Donna Brazile will be on campus Thursday, Feb. 18, to present “Race and Politics in America: The Past and 2016,” at 7:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. Afterward she will take questions from the audience. This event is free and open to the public. 

Brazile worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she became the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign. She’s an adjunct professor, author, syndicated columnist, vice chair of voter registration and participation at the Democratic National Committee, and former chair of the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute. She is an on-air contributor to CNN and regularly appears on ABC’s This Week. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, New York Times best-selling author Chris Abani presents “My Face and Ours: Views of Today’s America,” at 7:30 p.m. in Stirn Auditorium. He will be interviewed after the talk by Ilan Stavans, Amherst’s Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture, and then take questions from the audience. He will also be available for a book signing.

An accomplished novelist, poet and essayist with more than a dozen highly regarded books to his name, Abani is perhaps best known for his award-winning 2004 novel Graceland. He has become an internationally recognized voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics and our shared political responsibility. His most recent book of essays, The Face: Cartography of the Void, was released by Restless Books, whose publisher is Professor Stavans.

Throughout February, the full schedule of Black History Month events at Amherst will be continually updated as details emerge.