Celebrating Black History Month at CI

Celebrating Black History Month at CI

By A’ishah Crawford

Black History Month has been recognized as a national observance by every U.S. president since 1976, when President Gerald Ford “officially recognized Black History Month, calling upon the public to ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,’” according to history.com. For over four decades, the month of February has been a time to celebrate the accomplishments of people of the African diaspora.    

Here at CI, there have been multiple events on campus throughout February in recognition of Black History Month. On Feb. 16, John Spoor Broome Library hosted a virtual guest lecture with Amina S. McIntyre titled “Recovering Black Joy: Spiritual Care in African American Communities.” According to a CI News Center release, McIntyre is “a Vanderbilt University PhD student in Religion, area Religion, Psychology, and Culture, with minors in Womanist Ethnography and Homiletics and Liturgics.” The lecture explored “the connection between communal spiritual care in homes, centers, and healthcare environments and Black joy.” 

The Black History Month Social also took place on Feb. 16 and was hosted by the Multicultural Dream Center. At this event, many clubs and organizations on campus came together to bring awareness to Black History Month through activities and games, as well as information about what educational resources are available for students on campus.  

Some of the organizations that were present included the Diversity and Inclusion Student Council, whose mission is “to empower students to build an inclusive campus environment that is safe and welcoming for all,” and the Women of Color Mentoring Program, which provides an opportunity for “students who identify as women of color (WOC) to help other WOC like them succeed in an intentional and purposeful way.” The Black Student Union was also represented at the Social, where they provided information about their commitment to “community engagement and forming a community for students to engage in African American history and lifestyle.”  

The next Black History Month event was Love, Peace & Soul, which was hosted on Feb. 22 in the Santa Rosa Village Courtyard by the Pinkard Living Learning Community. At this event, participants got the opportunity to dance, do arts and crafts, eat free soul food and participate in a giveaway. Prizes included African black soap products, shirts with graphics related to Black history and a children’s book about Black History Month. 

Another Black History Month event on campus was Movie Night Under the Stars, hosted by Student Programming Board and Housing & Residential Education on Feb. 23, where Marvel’s “Black Panther” was shown on a large screen in the South Quad. This event included free food for the first 250 attendees, provided by a Black-owned food truck called Shaifer Kitchen.  Attendees were also entered into a giveaway which featured 20 prizes such as blankets and apparel. 

Additionally, the Multicultural Dream Center hosted a passive display in recognition of Black History Month, as well as sharing information about important figures in Black history on their Instagram page, @csuci_mdc. 

Throughout the month, CI students have had plentiful opportunities to engage with Black History Month.  As February comes to a close, The CI View invites its readers to reflect on the importance of learning more about Black History Month. To get involved with any of the student organizations listed above, please go to CISync through your myCI student portal. 

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