Black History Month events at Parkland
Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:02
Every year, America and other nations around the world take time to recognize and remember the well-known African Americans in history that made a difference. Black History Month first started out as a Black History Week in February of 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson began the observation in order to educate the American people about African-American history, concentrating on their cultural background and highly regarded achievements. It wasn't until 1986 that Congress selected February as National Black History Month.
Each year since, schools across the nation seek to inform their students of the importance of Black History Month. Parkland College, in particular, is putting together several different events throughout the month to celebrate. This year, there will be more than twelve events hosted throughout the month of February. Voter registration kiosks will also be appearing in the College Center to promote the importance of voting. This particular event is important not only because of the African Americans fight for the right to vote – but commemorates women's struggles as well.
Putting together these events is the Black History Committee, comprised of faculty, professional support staff, administrators and student representatives. Many departments from Academic and Student Services are represented in the committee, such as Social Science faculty, the Library, Admissions, Counseling and Advising, Disability Services and Marketing. Additional support came from members representing Institutional Advancement. The intent of the Black History Committee is to furnish programming that is both educational, thought provoking, and entertaining.
One of the first few events is the Black Student SUCCESS Workshop, facilitated by Professor Kevin Hastings on February 8, from 1 - 2 p.m. in D-244. The goal of the workshop is to help students understand the connection between effort, commitment, learning and grades. He will also supply tips on achieving good grades and expectations that instructors have for their students. The workshop will be interactive and there will be time for questions. All students are welcome to join.
In the Flag Lounge on February 14, clips from the movie "For Colored Girls" will be played along with a discussion. "For Colored Girls" is a drama film that is about African American women and the struggles that these women go through. The movie was chosen to run on Valentines Day because it is aimed to give empowerment to women and show them that women do not have to depend on a man to be strong.
The film's main cast consists of nine African-American women, seven of which are based on the original play's seven characters exclusively known by color ("Lady in Red," "Lady in Black" and "Lady in Yellow," for example.). Each character deals with a contrasting personal struggle, such as love, abandonment, rape, infidelity or abortion. The characters are all portrayed in their representative color. Each of their narratives is different, but the characters interact within each other's lives.
Toward the end of the month, the Annual Wellness Fair will take place in the college's Gallery and Flag lounges on February 22 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. This is a free chance for community residents to better their physical, spiritual, emotional, and intellectual well-being. More than 30 health organizations and agencies promoting wellness are anticipated to attend and provide information.
"This year's planning provided the option for several film clip viewings with discussion and a few more educational displays at various times throughout the month in both the College Center and the first floor display in the Social Science department," Dean of Students Marietta Turner stated.
"We are also pleased to offer a display showcasing the career of our Access Success Speaker, Mr. Dwight Miller who is a successful McDonald's minority franchise owner," Turner noted.
These events and many others can be expected throughout the month, so be sure to keep an eye out for the activities around campus.