Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
February 19, 1999

Black history events continue this month

Rae Lewis-Thornton, who was diagnosed with AIDS at age 23 and has since led her own crusade against the disease, will be the featured speaker of Black History Month.

In her talk, "Living with AIDS," Lewis-Thornton is expected to challenge both young and old to take control of their bodies, futures and health.

Lewis-Thornton has talked about AIDS on Nightline with Ted Koppel and on the Oprah Winfrey Show. She recently was nominated for an Emmy for her work as contributing editor for a series of first-person stories on AIDS.

Lewis-Thornton was Carol Mosley Braun's 1992 senatorial campaign advance coordinator, Illinois state youth coordinator for the 1988 Michael Dukakis presidential campaign, and national youth director for Jesse Jackson's 1984 and 1988 presidential campaigns. She retired from her career as a political organizer in 1993 due to her health.

Her talk will begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

The Black History observance began in January, but events celebrating the month will extend through most of the semester. Among other events is a reading by Mari Evans, writer, educator and musician, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 24, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Evans, known for her classic poem, I Am a Black Woman and her volume Nightstar, most recently published A Dark and Splendid Mass, a collection of essays about African American women writers.

"Africa in the 21st Century," will be discussed by Randall Robinson, director of TransAfrica, an organization that works for a more progressive U.S. foreign policy toward the African nations and the Caribbean. His talk will begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

Events will conclude with the Veishea keynote address. Author Peter Burchard will speak on "The Visionary George Washington Carver" at 5 p.m. Friday, April 16, on central campus. Bruchard, who is working on a Carver biography, will show a 12-minute film that includes a recording of Carver's voice.

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Revised 02/18/99