Black History month planned for February

By Tanya Myles

An array of events is scheduled for those who might want to broaden their cultural knowledge through Black History/Black Heritage Month.

NIU students can participate in activities unique to the black heritage—and maybe somewhat foreign to those who are not of black heritage.

Over the years, Black History/Black Heritage Month has undergone a transformation.

In 1926, “Negro History Week” was established as a reaction to American racism and as an attempt to defend black humanity.

However, black history month now calls up images of the contributions that black people have made in the United States and abroad. Black Heritage Month has become a tradition not only at NIU, but also at universities across the nation.

Van Anthony Amos, Center for Black Studies coordinator, said, “The recent outbursts of racial letters stresses the need to celebrate Black Heritage Month all the more. We need to celebrate and explore – and tell the true American history.”

Black Heritage Month celebrates and reflects the achievements black people have made to strengthen the culture of America and the world, Amos said.

Karen Perkins, NIU’s Black Graduate Student Association president, said Black Heritage Month “will be better than ever this year.” The association is sponsoring a soul food dinner and a window display featuring African art and clothing. The display will be exhibited in the Holmes Student Center during the last week of February.

Other events highlighting Black Heritage Month include a Feb. 3 gospel concert featuring The Barrett Sisters, Arthur Scales, and Pop Staples. The concert will be held in the Music Building Concert Hall at 7 p.m.

“Apartheid in South Africa” will be presented by Lou Turner on Feb. 4. The lecture will be held in the Heritage Room at 9 p.m.

The World Music Concert Feb. 7 will feature “The Music of Africa and the Caribbean” performed by the NIU Steel Band at 3 p.m. in the Music Building Concert Hall.

“Black Entertainment Night,” a student talent show, will be featured at the Wesley Foundation on Feb. 19 at 8:30 p.m.

Larry Robertson, Student Association minority relations adviser, said, “Black Heritage Week will be much better this year. Last year, there was a lot of running around, but this year it is much more organized and well-planned.” Robertson also said the activities will appeal to everyone.