Preview Africa’s Great Civilizations in Springfield Feb. 23

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Honor Black History Month by learning how Africa and Africans have shaped our modern world. Join WGBY and its partners at UMass Center at Springfield, UMass Amherst, the Five College African Studies Council, and the UMass History Department for advanced screenings of the upcoming series, Africa’s Great Civilizations. Both screenings a free and open to the public.

The first western New England screening of Africa’s Great Civilizations will be held Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. inside the Cape Cod Lounge of the UMass Amherst Student Union. The presentation will begin with refreshments and a short program of African music and dance, followed by a 30-minute screening of a portion of the series.  The program will conclude with a discussion and question-and-answer period led by panelists, including Five College African Studies Professors Joye Bowman, John Higginson, and Olabode Omojola as well as Marilyn Sylla of the Five College Dance Department.

The second screening of Africa’s Great Civilizations will be held Thursday, Feb. 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the UMass Center in Springfield (inside Tower Square). Here, the presentation will begin with refreshments and conclude with a discussion and Q&A period, this time led by panelists Roderick Anderson of UMass Amherst and Saibo Ndlovu.

Africa’s Great Civilizations and other programs are scheduled during Black History Month to honor public television’s year-round commitment to diversity.

“PBS is focused on expanding upon topics related to race, class and the African-American experience,” says Beth Hoppe, Chief Programming Executive and General Manager of General Audience Programming at PBS. 

In addition to on-air programs, PBS maintains a rich Web property, called PBS Black Culture Connection, to serve as a resource for sharing black history and cultural influences. The website, at, offers “a suite of topic-driven collections produced by trusted PBS partners.” Each of the collections is organized by theme (e.g. Jazz and Hip-Hop) and includes videos, articles and digital interactives, such as timelines and quizzes.


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