Students, staff, and faculty were invited to share in music, games and refreshments as Liberty University began its celebration of Black History Month Tuesday at a kick-off event in the DeMoss Hall courtyard, organized by Liberty’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME).
Staff members also handed out calendars listing the many different activities planned throughout February, including group discussions, dialogues with featured speakers, Black Student Initiative meetings, an “open mic” session, cinema nights, a Harlem Renaissance-themed event and a special worship service.
“We have such a wide variety of events to appeal to all tastes that I would be hard-pressed to state what event I am looking forward to the most,” said Center4ME director Melany Pearl. She said the team has been mapping out events since mid-November.
Black History Month is a time to recognize the achievements of people descended from Africa -- a history that has been under-recognized in America’s history books, Pearl said, and “it is especially significant [at Liberty] being an institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia, as it was in 1619 that the first black people arrived to this nation in Virginia.”
Center4ME office manager Jodie Walton helped staff the tent at the kick-off on Tuesday.
“Personally I think the focus of Black History Month is to really see what people have done in the past to get us to where we are now, so we can better ourselves,” he said. “These people made it, so there’s no reason we can’t.”
Since the first Black History Month was observed in 1976, every U.S. president has designated the month of February as a time to honor and celebrate the achievements and culture of African-American citizens and their role in our nation’s history, according to Pearl. Canada and the United Kingdom also celebrate Black History Month. In recent years, each Black History Month has been given a theme. This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Civil War."
Click here for a complete calendar of events.