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Santa Monica College Celebrates Black History Month  

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By Lookout Staff

February 7, 2017 -- The "N-word" will be put on trial during a series of events at Santa Monica College (SMC) commemorating Black History Month.

The events, which also include several talks on timely topics, will be held on SMC’s main campus at 1900 Pico Boulevard; seating is on a first-arrival basis.

The series kicks off Thursday, February 16, with “Sudan to San Diego: The Hard Way,” a discussion of the book “They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys From Sudan” by its co-authors Alephonsion Deng and Judy Bernstein.

The book traces the story of Alepho and two other young boys raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan -- a world of grass-roofed cottages and cattle herders -- and their arduous 1,000-mile trek across a war-torn country after their homes were torched by napalm.

Deng and Bernstein will "discuss the challenges of dealing with traumatic losses in Africa and creating new lives in America," event organizers said.

The event takes place at 11:15 a.m. in Humanities & Social Sciences Lecture Hall 165 and is sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Black Collegians Program, SMC English Department and SMC Global Citizenship.

On Tuesday, February 21, the college will present the Res Ipsa Media production of “Trial by Jury: The Case of the N-Word” hosted by film and TV producer Kyle Bowser.

Audience members are invited to participate in "an open-dialogue event on using the ‘N-word’ in school curriculum, framing the conversation with a fictional on-film trial," organizers said.

"The film stops when jury deliberations start, and members of the audience are invited to join the deliberations and express their opinions on the topic," organizers said.

The event takes place at 11:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the Main Stage at SMC Theatre Arts Complex and is sponsored by the SMC Associates, Associated Students of SMC and the Santa Monica College Foundation.

The series concludes Tuesday, February 28, with a presentation by sociologist and LA Pierce College professor James McKeever titled “Criminalization of Black Males and Placing the Black Lives Matter Movement into a Sociological Context.”

McKeever will talk about "the sociological aspects and effects of the criminalization of the black male and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement," organizers said.

The talk takes place at 11:15 a.m. in Humanities & Social Sciences Lecture Hall 165 and is sponsored by the SMC Associates and SMC Black Collegians Program.

For more information call SMC’s Office of Public Programs at (310) 434-4100.

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