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Queens Chronicle

African heritage the focus at LaGuardia CC

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Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:00 pm

   LaGuardia Community College will kick off a weeklong celebration of African heritage today, March 17, with a book reading from NY1 anchor Cheryl Wills.

   Wills is an award-winning reporter and one of the most tenured on-air personalities at NY1. Since her start with NY1 in 1992 Wills has covered major U.S. tragedies including the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and the crash of the State Island Ferry in 2003.

   The book reading and entertainment will begin at 6 p.m. with the NY1 weekend evening anchor. Wills will read from her new book, “Die Free: A Heroic Family History” about her ancestors, one a firefighter and another a soldier in the Civil War. “She will read from her study of her history and genealogy,” said Angela Wambugu Cobb, co-chairwoman of the African Heritage Committee. “It is going to be really, really exciting.”

   This year’s African Heritage Celebration will also bring major members of the international community. Three African ambassadors to the United Nations, Cedrick Crowley of South Africa, William Awinador-Kanyrige of Ghana and Macharia Kamau of Kenya will all discuss change in their respective countries since independence and students will have the opportunity to ask questions. The event will also pay attention to the recent events in Africa like the revolution in Egypt. The event intends to go all out this year, also including a presentation from a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Herb Boyd.

   Attendees can also expect plenty of entertainment. There will be a dance and a film festival at the CUNY school’s main building at 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City. Five workshops will cover topics like African news in American media, changing African-American diets and more. The full list of workshops and film viewings can be found at the CUNY website, cuny.edu/news. LGCC can be reached at (718) 482-7200.

   Although February is Black History Month, LGCC celebrates it in March when its students are available. Now in its sixth year, the heritage program’s message and aim are the same: “To spread knowledge about African culture from an African perspective,” said Kazembe Batts, chairman of the African Heritage 2011 committee.

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