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“Saturday Night Live” cast member headlines February’s Black History Month

Finesse Mitchell
Finesse Mitchell speaks Thursday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m.

An impressive array of talented comics, authors and entrepreneurs are coming to SUNY Fredonia in February, courtesy of the Black Student Union, to commemorate Black History Month, including an appearance by “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) cast member Finesse Mitchell on Feb. 18.

“The Black Student Union wanted to think outside the box,” said Averl Otis, director of Multicultural Affairs and adviser to the BSU, of student efforts to bring more well-known speakers and successful performers to campus this year.

A team of six BSU members worked diligently to assemble programs that are both entertaining and educational, she added. “It all relates to everybody, regardless of ethnicity, race or sexual orientation. Regardless of your background, you’ll learn something from the speakers as well as from the message.”

Otis also noted that the speakers are scheduled to meet with Fredonia students outside of their scheduled presentations and are looking forward to getting to know the Fredonia community.

The series of events kicks off Monday, Feb. 1 with Jerald Cooper, a one-time intern with a major record label who’s become a successful entrepreneur in the highly competitive world of marketing consultants. Considerable networking and branding skills have earned Cooper such clients as Proctor & Gamble, Interbrand and TAG Body Spray. He’s also done event marketing for Cadillac, Tradewinds Tea, Miss Behave Magazine and Red Bull Energy Drink. He appears in the Williams Center’s Horizon Room at 5 p.m.

Next, a collection of firsts, little-known accomplishments and contributions by African Americans will be featured in the traveling exhibit, “African American History on Wheels,” which rolls into the Williams Center Multipurpose Purpose Room on Thursday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. The exhibit is part of Clifton Brown’s non-profit organization, “Reflection in Black Museums,” that Brown, a motivational speaker, has presented in a half-dozen states.

Two rising authors, Milton “Ranik” Jackson and Kendall “Chosen” Exume, will present “Poetry to the People” on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. in the Horizon Room. The program blends culture, conflict, social and sexual responsibility, awareness and the universal poetic theme of love.

Then Mitchell will take the Multipurpose Room spotlight on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. In addition to SNL, he has appeared on the “Today” show, BET’s “Comic View” and “The Tyra Banks Show.” He has also had his own half-hour special on Comedy Central and writes a column for ESSENCE magazine that serves up hip, hilarious and honest relationship advice. Screen credits include “Who’s Your Caddy” and “Mad Money.” His first book, Your Girlfriends Only Know So Much, presents no-holds-barred dating advice to women seeking answers to age-old relationship questions.

Lastly, Leroy Williams brings his “Hypnobro” stand-up routine, which incorporates hypnosis into comedy, to the Multipurpose Room stage on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. A one-time architect, Williams sidestepped a secure career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in favor of the far-from-stable stand-up life that’s taken him to venues all across the country. He has also been seen on BET’s “Comic View” and has appeared with Steve Harvey, J. Anthony Brown, D.C. Curry, and others.

Other BSU events include Cupid’s Ball on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel ballroom, as well as the week’s concluding ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, at 6 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, at the College Lodge.

posted @ Tuesday, January 26, 2010 11:04 AM by Christine Davis Mantai

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