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Author addresses civil rights movement

Students will get a glimpse of what it was like to live during the civil rights movement through the eyes of an author who expressed her experiences through writing and poetry.

The University Lecture Series (ULS) hosts author and poet Nikki Giovanni tonight in a presentation titled “Blues: For all the changes” as part of Black Emphasis Month.

Giovanni, a lifelong advocate for equality, is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech. Her lecture will discuss the past three decades of civil rights.

“She’s going to be talking about civil rights and the ideals of equality through her poetry and books,” said ULS Student Director Tim Repass.

He said Giovanni’s talk was scheduled to coincide with Black Emphasis Month.

“It was just one of those speakers that was suggested, and then we saw that it could fit well with the other lineup of different events we have going on as well during this time,” Repass said.

ULS Student Director Amy Bortzfield said ULS had looked into bringing Giovanni to campus for a while.

“We had an open space this year and we were trying to think of a really interesting, diverse speaker, so she popped into mind,” she said.

Bortzfield said she thinks students will find Giovanni interesting.

“I think she’s going to be kind of cool, because she’s had a lot of experience just with life in general, and she was there through the whole Virginia Tech scare,” she said.

After the lecture, students can ask Giovanni questions about her life, her work and the speech itself. ULS expects a crowd of about 700, Bortzfield said.

Repass said he expects the lecture to have a good turnout because it occurs during Black Emphasis Month. The Office of Multicultural Affairs has also promoted the event.

“Working with another group helps promote our event,” Repass said. “There’s going to be a couple of women’s studies groups coming to listen.”

“Blues: For all the changes” will take place tonight at 7 in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater. Doors open at 6. The event is free for USF students. General admission is $10.