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The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History will celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall with a season of art exhibitions, concerts, lectures, films and special guests.

The Stone Center opened on July 1, 1988, as the Black Cultural Center and has since positioned itself as a resource for those interested in the cultures, arts, histories and social and intellectual projects of African-Americans and the African diaspora. The groundbreaking ceremony for the free-standing Stone Center took place in April 2001, and in November 2002 its name was officially changed to the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, signifying its new expanded mission.

The Stone Center will celebrate its quarter-century milestone by honoring and reflecting on its rich heritage in the performance and visual arts, scholarship and scholarly initiatives and social justice outreach programs.

“It’s fantastic to think about what has happened with culture here over the past 25 years because this has always been a place for inclusion and dialogue, and continues to be a place for progressive thought and innovative programming,” says Joscelyne Brazile, the center’s assistant director.

The exhibition “This Story Has Not Yet Been Told,” from Brooklyn-based artist Tim Okamura, will go on display in the Robert and Sallie Brown Gallery and Museum at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 with a reception and a talk by the artist.

The Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film will open on Sept. 19 with the North Carolina premiere of two award-winning films, “Clara Como El Agua” and “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” at 7 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room. This year’s festival, its 20th, will screen a total of nine films throughout the fall months and will include commentary by film directors and film scholars, as well as post-film discussions.

The Stone Memorial Lecture, to be delivered on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room, will bring newly appointed Bennett College president and UNC alumna Rosalind Fuse-Hall to the Stone Center.

The African Diaspora Lecture on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room will feature Howard Dodson, bibliophile, author and director emeritus of the Schomburg Center.

Read more about The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.

Published September 9, 2013.