Feb 6, 2007

Center4ME celebrates Black History Month

by Leslie Hagar, Life! Reporter
Americans have recognized black history since 1926. What is less known is that black history had barely begun to be studied — or even documented — when the tradition originated. African-Americans have been in America at least as far back as colonial times, but it was not until the 2oth century that black people played a more prevalent role in history books. 

According to www.blackhistorypages.net, the celebration of Black History Month and the study of African-American history began with Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  Woodson was born to parents who were former slaves.  He spent his childhood working in the Kentucky coal mines and enrolled in high school at 20.  He graduated in two years and soon went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. 

Woodson was disturbed to find in his studies that history books largely ignored the black American population, and when African-Americans did figure into the picture, it was generally in ways that reflected the inferior social position they were assigned at the time. Woodson dedicated his life to changing that.

“Black history month is a time of unity, awareness and exposure,” said Associate Dean Daveta Saunders of the Center for Multicultural Enrichment. “Unity is a big thing our office promotes. This month will bring blacks together but it is also for (other) nationalities as well.”

Saunders said, “Some of the events we have lined up for Black History Month are fun.  But we also have events provide awareness. They may make people uncomfortable but they are events that can give you things to learn for when you are out in the workplace.”

One of the events students can be involved in includes a trivia contest. Beginning Feb. 2 and continuing every Friday of the month is a quiz that will test your knowledge of African-Americans.  The questions can be found in Connections Weekly or on the splash page.  The winner will receive a $10 gift card to Wal-Mart.

“If you win all four weeks, that’s $40 — and $40 goes a long way at Wal-Mart,” said Dean Saunders.
The following events will also be taking place in February to celebrate Black History Month:
On Wednesday, Feb. 7, the Black Student Initiative (BSI) Forum will host and event called, “What’s in a Name?” It will take place at the Center4Me (Dorm 20), beginning at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The event will focus on the issue of derogatory name-calling across cultural boundaries. All are welcome to join in this candid conversation.

On Friday, Feb. 9, there will be a reception for convocation speaker Bishop Wellington Boone, also at the Center4Me, starting at 12 p.m. The reception is also free and open to the public. Bishop Wellington is a nationally recognized platform speaker for Promise Keepers and the author of best-selling popular Christian books like “Your Wife is Not Your Momma,” “Breaking Through,” “My Journey With God” and “The Low Road to New Heights.”

On Saturday, Feb. 10, the LaHaye Center will host a Reunion of the African Diaspora. The reunion begins at 12 p.m. and there is an admission cost. Ticket prices are $3 for adults, $2 for Liberty students with ID and $1 for children. The reunion will celebrate African culture that has spread throughout the world. Proceeds will go to the Daniel Dakum Scholarship Fund.

Monday, Feb. 12 is “History of the Black Church.” Dr. Oneal Sandidge, an adjunct professor, will speak on the history of the black church. He will be speaking in Religion Hall. Room 104 beginning at 7 p.m. This is a free event that is also open to the public.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, the BSI will host a forum called, “Who Will You Bring Home?” The forum will discuss interracial dating along with abstinence and the blessings of waiting until marriage. It will take place in the Center4Me at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

A benefit concert for the LU Fellowship Gospel Choir will take place on Saturday, Feb. 17, in Pate Chapel at Thomas Road Baptist Church. It is entitled, “Praise is What We Do,” and the proceeds will go to the “Meet Me in Africa” missions trip. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students with their ID.

A BSI Forum, “Where Are You?” will be held in the Center4ME on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. At this event, the forum will discuss popular TV series like, “A Different World” and “College Hill” and discuss which college Liberty University is most like. The event is free and open to the public.
There will be a “Legacy Tour” on Saturday, Feb. 24 to Baltimore. The event costs $15 and is for Liberty students only. On this trip, students will spend the day touring four African-American sites such as the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Euble Black Jazz Institute and Royal Theatre Monument. The cost of transportation and admission to museums is included.

There will be “A Different World Marathon” on Monday, Feb. 26, in the Center4Me starting at 8:45 p.m. There is no charge for admittance and the viewing is open to the public.

On Wednesday, Feb. 28, students and staff are encouraged to wear red or green with black on a day known as Solidarity Dress Day in order to show appreciation for the contributions of African-Americans.

In another event on the 28th, the BSI will host a forum called “What Now?”, which will cover topics such as the role of Liberty students in contributing to the legacy of African-Americans. The forum will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

While February is designed specifically for black history, Saunders wants people to know that the multicultural center also celebrates events related to other cultures.

“We don’t deal with people of different races. We deal with different cultures. Everybody is a Center4Me. Everybody has a culture. We all come from different regions (and) different religious backgrounds,” she said.

Center4Me’s future events include Hispanic History Month and Irish History Month, to name a few.
For more information on Black History Month and the multicultural center, visit: www.liberty. edu/studentaffairs/multiculturalenrichment/.

Contact Leslie Hagar at lahagar@liberty.edu.
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