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By Jaren Jones (Digital Content Assistant, Student Affairs Marketing and Communications)

Black History Month Celebration


The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Division of Student Affairs, Black Student Awareness Committee, and campus partners invite everyone to attend the third annual Black History Month program on Tuesday, Feb. 20. This year’s program will take place in the Hill Student Center Ballrooms from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., highlighted by the theme African Americans and the Arts.

Program attendees will learn about the contributions made by black artists–emphasized by the four categories: film and television, performing arts, music, and visual arts. Performers will include the Xclusive Dance Company; Jasmine Williams, associate director of First Year Experience; Wes Wright, artist hospitality coordinator for the Alys Stephens Center; and poet laureates Salaam Green and Ashley Jones.

Kevin TurnerDuring the program, the inaugural Black Excellence Award will be presented posthumously to Kevin Turner, whose influence transcends UAB.

“We are so thrilled to continue expanding our annual Black History Program, and this year, we have a special honor in store to recognize the exceptional Kevin Turner and his significant contributions to UAB and the surrounding communities,” said Herbert Wilkerson, chair of the Black History Month Program committee and director of Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs. “We are excited to share with others the legacy he left at UAB and beyond.”

Turner began his tenure as the director of the UAB Gospel Choir in 1994 up until his retirement in 2017. Regarded as the “Modern Day Godfather of College Gospel Choirs,” Turner’s research has appeared in the curriculum of cultural diversity programs for Birmingham City Schools and the Music Educators National Conference. At UAB, he taught the Study of American Gospel Music and Music Business courses in the UAB School of Music. He also designed a course in the African American Studies program called the History of Gospel Music.

Additionally, Turner had several independent music releases as a performer and producer. After retiring from UAB, he spent time traveling as a guest musical minister to local churches until his death in 2021.

In addition to the celebration and posthumous honor of Kevin Turner, the visual arts component will take place following the program during the reception. It will feature artworks provided by the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AVEIVA), including pieces by renowned artist Gordon Parks.

To arrange disability accommodations or for more information, contact at smdp@uab.edu.