Xavier University celebrates Black History Month
Khalid el-Hakim is the founder and curator of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum. An educator with the Detroit Public Schools, he received his Bachelor of Science in Social Studies and Business Education at Ferris State University. As a music executive, he has managed various artists, including 2006 Grammy award nominee Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets, platinum award-winning artist Proof of D12, Taja Sevelle, and Versiz. His passions for education and history led him to start collecting Black memorabilia 15 years ago. His award-winning collection of over 2,000 artifacts dates from slavery to Hip Hop culture.
Author Sam Greenlee will give a free lecture open to the public in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Theatre at 7 pm on Tuesday, February 23. Greenlee was born in Chicago in 1930 and educated in public schools. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He served in the Army for two years as a first lieutenant, then studied international relations at the University of Chicago. A career with the United States Information Agency sent him on assignment promoting American culture overseas. He was one of the first black foreign service officers, with assignments in Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Greece between 1957 and 1965, leaving after he became disillusioned. In The Spook Who Sat by the Door, published in 1968, “spook” is a double entendre - a racial insult directed toward Blacks and as a slang term for spies. It is about a black CIA operative hired to demonstrate the agency’s multiracial outlook. The agent quits and uses his spy training to start a black revolutionary protest movement in Chicago. Unpublishable in America, the book was accepted by a London publisher and quickly became an underground favorite. Greenlee has received the United States Information Agency meritorious service award for bravery during the 1958 Baghdad revolution; Sunday Times (London) Book of the Year award for The Spook Who Sat by the Door, 1969; Ragdale Foundation fellowship, 1989; Illinois Arts Council fellowship, 1990; Illinois Poet Laureate award, 1990.