Campus News

Daniel Beaty Highlights Black History Month at UK

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 3, 2010) - The Martin Luther King, Jr. Cultural Center (MLKCC) at the University of Kentucky has announced its program calendar for the 2010 observance of African American History Month.

The highlight to this year’s calendar of events is the critically acclaimed, one-man play "Emergency."  The play, written and presented by award-winning actor Daniel Beaty, ran off-Broadway to a sold-out, extended run at New York’s Public Theater in the fall of 2006. For the production, Beaty received the 2007 Obie Award for Excellence in Off-Broadway Theater for Writing & Performing and the 2007 AUDELCO Award for Solo Performance.  He has worked throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa performing on programs with artists such as Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Jill Scott, Sonia Sanchez, MC Lyte, Mos Def, Tracy Chapman, Deepak Chopra, and Phylicia Rashad. He holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre [ACT]. 

In "Emergency," Beaty portrays a cast of 40 characters including a homeless man, a scientist, a Republican business executive, a street vendor, and an 11-year old boy from the projects who all respond to the unexplainable phenomenon of a mysterious slave ship emerging at the Statue of Liberty. This incredible, indescribable event sends New York into a whirlwind of emotion and exploration.

"Emergency" is an explosive solo tour-de-force of theater which features slam poetry, multi-character transformation and song.  Through the 40 characters’ individual responses to this surreal happening and their varied testimonies on identity and personal freedom, "Emergency" weaves a stirring commentary on humanity and freedom.

"Emergency" will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, in the Worsham Theater of the UK Student Center. The program is presented in cooperation with the UK Black Student Union (BSU) and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.. Admission is free and the public is cordially welcome.

Additional programs in the African American History Month calendar include:


Saturday, Feb. 6

6 p.m., Singletary Center for the Arts

Admission: $10 in advance, $20 at the door

In the spirit of New York’s legendary Apollo Theater Talent Contest, this showcase of amateur talent offers a fast-paced, high-energy potpourri of music, spoken word, comedy, theater, poetry and mime by student and community performers and even includes the dreaded "Sandman". Co-sponsored by the MLKCC and BSU.

A Musical Tribute to African-American Composers

Thursday, Feb. 18

7:30 p.m., Singletary Center for the Arts, Recital Hall

Free Admission

Performed by UK students, this concert will highlight compositions by a select group of African-American composers and arrangers – from Harry Burleigh to Duke Ellington. This multi-media, musical experience will be augmented by poetry, spoken word and visual imagery. Co-sponsored by the MLKCC and BSU.


Progressive Dinner

Tuesday, Feb. 23

6 - 8 p.m., UK Student Center

Journey through time as a participant/observer when the UK Black Student Union presents this hands-on experience which allows students to move along an historical timeline of African American History. Here’s a chance to learn what was left out of your history books as you experience landmark moments such as the Harlem Renaissance, the Dred Scott Case, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Rise of Black Power and much more.  Co-sponsored by the MLKCC and BSU.


Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity

Wednesday, Feb. 3

4 p.m., King Cultural Center, 133 Student Center

"Blacking Up" explores racial identity through the lens of hip-hop music and culture. It focuses in particular on the tensions that surround white identification with hip-hop. It explores the question of why certain hip-hop personas are attractive to white suburban youth, and what authenticity means to the communities being emulated in hip-hop. Sponsored by the MLKCC.