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ODU Black History Month Celebration Features Poets Tim Seibles and Remica Bingham-Risher

Old Dominion University’s Black History Month celebration is scheduled at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Hampton-Newport News room at Webb University Center.

The annual Black History Month event will focus on the theme “Speaking Truth to Power.”

The celebration will feature Tim Seibles, the poet laureate of Virginia, and Remica Bingham-Risher, renowned poet and author. ODU students also will read some of their poetry at the event.

Tim Seibles is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and Vermont College of Norwich University. In 2016, Seibles was appointed as the poet laureate of Virginia. He has received additional honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, an Open Voice Award from the National Writers Voice Project and the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for poetry. Seibles is an English professor in the College of Arts and Letters.

Bingham-Risher is an alumna of Old Dominion University and Bennington College. She is a Cave Canem fellow and a recipient of the Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. Bingham-Risher’s work has been published in The Writer’s Chronicle, New Letters, Callaloo and Essence magazine, as well as in other journals. She’s currently the director of quality enhancement plan initiatives at Old Dominion University.

Two books, “Starlight & Error” (Diode Editions, 2017) by Bingham-Risher and “One Turn Around the Sun” (Etruscan, 2017) by Seibles will be available for purchase during the event.
Old Dominion celebrates the contributions of African descendants during Black History Month. Author Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week in 1926 to celebrate the achievements of African-Americans, which evolved into Black History Month in 1976. The ODU staff, along with student organizations and community groups, host a variety of events that highlight Black culture, history and tradition.

Black History Month events at Old Dominion University include:

Black History Month Poetry Slam,
Feb. 2, 7:30 – 10 p.m.
Hampton-Newport News Room, Webb University Center. Poets can showcase their work and talent.

Empowering Black Females: Building and Sustaining Bridges for Success,
Feb. 5, 5:30 –7 p.m.
Hampton Newport News Room, Webb University Center. Panelists will engage in an interactive forum on Black female empowerment.

Film Screening & Discussion of Ava DuVernay’s “13TH,” Feb. 7, 6 – 8:30 p.m.
ODU Learning Commons, Rooms 1310-1311. A viewing of film director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay’s thought-provoking documentary centered on U.S. racism and mass incarceration. Alison Reed and Kendrick McCray, co-directors of Humanities Behind Bars (HBB), will lead the film discussion. Refreshments will be provided.

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Black History Month Game Night,
Feb. 8, 4 – 9 p.m.
River Rooms, Webb University Center. Come as your favorite historical Black figure, celebrity or individual or wear African attire for an interactive game night filled with Uno, Black Card Revoked, Taboo, Spades and more.

A full list of events can be found on the University’s Black History Month webpage,
For more information, visit the Office of Intercultural Relations website,, or call (757) 683-4406.

By Noell Saunders

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