Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) hosted a “Deliberative Dialogue” Monday, Feb. 10, at the Jerry Falwell Library, allowing students from all majors to learn about African-American culture.
The speaker, Leslie King gave a presentation entitled “Black Culture in America.” She started with an overview of the culture as a whole. The overview referenced oral tradition, the Harlem Renaissance and African-American cultural movements, which included topics such as music, arts, literature, museums, language, cuisine, hair, fashion and aesthetics.
According to King, the African-American culture is diverse. She described the culture as colorful, rich and changing.
In addition to King’s summary of African-American culture, she gave a presentation entitled “So what do black people do?”
King opened this part of her presentation by holding up a pair of large earrings. She asked the audience if African-American women were the only ones to wear those kinds of earrings.
She then began to talk about the stereotypes and truths about African-American culture. Some of the stereotypes addressed included going to long church services, not being able to swim and not living to the end of a horror film. King used YouTube videos to give a better understanding of these stereotypes.
“It’s not that there is a stereotype, but why there is a stereotype,” Liberty student Zac Keitler said.
Near the end of King’s presentation, she revealed a statistic that is often overlooked. According to King, more than 1.4 million African-American males are enrolled in college and about 700,000 are in jail.
The misconception here is that more African-American males are ending up in jail, when that is not the case, King explained.
When the presentation had come to an end, King opened the floor for questions. The audience asked questions based on stereotypes and how to better relate to people from different cultures. The audience not only talked to King directly, but they also talked with each other.
The Center4ME holds many other Deliberative Dialogues and has several more events coming up for African-American History Month.
For more information about the Center4ME and future events, visit liberty.edu.