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Black History Month Keynote Address
February 4 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
The Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center invites Western Illinois University’s faculty, staff and students, as well as the entire west central Illinois community, to the annual Black History Month Celebration. The year’s celebration will focus on our roots as a cultural space, which will encourage challenging conversations and artistic displays of color and emotion.
The theme for the Black History Month Celebration and the 50th anniversary of The Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center is “Our Roots Run Deep.” This year’s keynote speaker is Chicago native, Che “Rhymefest” Smith.
Rhymefest has been in the music industry since he was a teenager and is popular for his work with Kanye West. He has assisted in writing and producing most of West’s earlier work, as well as co-founding the Donda West Foundation, in memory of West’s late mother. The charity’s mission is to help at-risk students in Chicago nurture their knowledge of writing and creating music, as well as pairing them with experts in the arts to guide their creative expressions.
Additionally, Rhymefest is involved with the politics of Chicago. In 2011, he ran for alderman in one of Chicago’s most dangerous wards. He has spoken with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the UK Conservative Party on the issues of banning Hip Hop music in the country. This led to the creation of Hugs for Hoodies, a program geared toward educating youth about the music business–production and business.
For more information, contact the GBCC at (309) 298-2220.