Voices of Praise sing at MLK Day 2024.

North Central News

North Central College celebrates Black History Month with music, history and more

Feb 02, 2024

Throughout the month of February, North Central College invites members of the public to celebrate Black History Month by attending a wide range of events on campus, including the musical “1619: Journey of a People,” in partnership with the City of Naperville and the Naperville Public Library; a concert performance by the timeless rock & roll and R&B legends The Drifters; and an evening of storytelling with TikTok star and Chicago historian Shermann “Dilla” Thomas to learn why “Everything Dope in America Comes from Chicago.”

1619: Journey of a People, The Musical

Thursday, February 8
7 – 8:30 p.m.

Wentz Concert Hall (171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville)

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1619: Journey of a People, The Musical” packs generations of history into a musical theater experience that traces the American journey toward freedom and equality. The musical features a cast of singers, actors, spoken word artists, and dancers who reflect on the past while tackling critical contemporary social issues. “1619” was created and produced by Ted Williams, chairman of the social science department at Chicago’s Kennedy-King College, a professor of political science, former host of the WYCC-PBS television program “The Professors,” and a professional actor and speaker. There will be a Q&A after the performance.

“1619” is presented by the North Central College Office of Multicultural Affairs with community partners the City of Naperville and the Naperville Public Library. This event is sponsored by Nicor Gas.

Voices of Praise 36th Annual Gospel Extravaganza

Saturday, February 10
3 – 5 p.m.

Wentz Concert Hall (171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville)

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Join North Central College’s Voices of Praise Gospel Choir for an evening of praise and worship. We will be celebrating Black History Month with local college choirs, spoken word artists, and other performances. This is a time to learn about African American culture through various art forms and we would love to have you.

The Drifters

Saturday, February 17
8 p.m.

Pfeiffer Hall (810 E. Benton Ave., Naperville)

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The Drifters, one of rock & roll’s founding vocal groups, is once again touring the U.S. under the auspices of their original management team. Through an historical journey, which has included five legendary lead singers, including Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Clyde McPhatter and Ben E. King, the group’s ongoing story has covered the entire spectrum of rock & roll. The Drifters journey has included a lot of firsts: they were the first musical group to include string instruments into rhythm & blues music with their hit song “There Goes My Baby”; they were the first musical group to sell two million records with their pop classic “Up on the Roof”; and they were the first African American vocal group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Their classic tune “Under the Boardwalk” is the most played R&B record of all time.

Everything Dope about America Comes from Chicago: A Journey of Intersectionality & Storytelling with Chicago Historian and TikTok Star Shermann “Dilla” Thomas

Tuesday, February 20
6 – 7:30 p.m.

Wentz Concert Hall (171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville)

Through the power of storytelling, Dilla is helping to change the narrative locally and nationally about Chicago’s value to the world. He became a Chicago social media sensation by going viral on TikTok. His 60-second history videos on everything Chicago have been viewed over eight million times, and he has amassed a following of more than 150,000 followers across all social media platforms. He has been featured on all manner of Chicago media and has also appeared nationally on The Today Show and The Kelly Clarkson Show. Dilla is a proud lifelong resident of Chicago’s South Side. He lives by the saying: “Everything dope about America comes from Chicago.”

Additional Details

For more information about North Central College’s 2024 Black History Month activities and events visit northcentralcollege.edu/diversity-inclusion/black-history-month/2024.