Month to feature cultural, historical programming for students at KSU

Christina Stavale

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Credit: DKS Editors

More than 80 years ago, a man named Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week, which would later evolve into Black History Month.

This year, Kent State’s programming for the month is themed “Carter G. Woodson and the Origins of Multiculturalism” to honor the man. Almost 20 events will be showcased within the month, ranging from cultural to musical to historical presentations.

“It gives people a different perspective of our culture, contrary to what they see on TV,” said Shana Lee, director of the Student Multicultural Center. “We have a rich legacy in terms of our community and it’s important to have a place to display that.”

To begin the month’s events, Tim Moore, associate dean of the College of the Arts and Sciences, will give a lecture addressing the question “Why Black History Month?”

This is a question and issue people address every year, Lee said, and Moore will be giving facts, examples and clarification about why the month is so important.

During Black History Month, KSU-NAACP will also be celebrating the 99th anniversary of the NAACP. KSU-NAACP President Brittnei Neely said this event will be a way to “pay homage to the founders and celebrate history.”

Programming will also feature two musical performances during the middle of the month. Jonathan Blanchard, a bass vocalist, will be giving a performance titled “Preserving the History, Message and the Artistry of the Negro Spiritual.”

The national tour of the Langston Hughes Project will also visit Kent State. This performance will feature the Ron McCurdy Jazz Quartet, a narrator reciting some of Hughes’ poetry and still images of the Harlem Renaissance.

The keynote speaker of the month, sponsored by Black United Students, will be Afeni Shakur, better known as rapper Tupac’s mother. BUS President Sasha Parker said Shakur will be speaking about the “need for community and the push for unity amongst black people.”

Parker said BUS has been working on programming for Black History Month since the beginning of the year, and said she’s pleased the group was able “to pull off some really good events.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Christina Stavale at [email protected].