Promoting diversity: NIU holds closing ceremony for Black History Month

By Jacqueline Evans

NIU closed Black History Month Monday night in the Duke Ellington Ballroom.

The event, titled “Black Pride Renewed, Refreshed, Redefined” was sponsored by the Center for Black Studies and Campus Activities Board.

The program featured performances from Danny Devine, Quest, LS Dushane, Jinice Hollis, Dr. Khailsani, Breff- Future and The Mes-n-ger, who make up the group Spike’s Rebellion, which is composed of poets, rappers, singers and live musicians.

Program director Van Amos helped plan the program with CAB to celebrate the cultures of Africa.

“It is important that we have different kinds of programs that reflect the rich culture and heritage of African and African Americans,” Amos said. “This program was put together with the help of many student organizations and NIU offices and departments to bring the best of African culture to NIU.”

Brianna Dark, CAB associate vice president of fine arts, said she helped plan the event with hopes of bringing the NIU community together.

“We wanted a diverse crowd and reached out to all of NIU to celebrate Black History Month,” Dark said. “As a CAB member, it’s our duty to promote diversity and I felt this program did so perfectly.”

Former NIU student Venita Abrams also performed at the closing ceremony.

“I loved the closing ceremony and I was happy to see the students of NIU come out and support this important program,” Abrams said. “The Holmes Student Center has always been a symbolic building and is the epitome of getting people together, so it was only appropriate that they held the ceremony here.”

Abrams, who attended NIU from 1986-1989, said she enjoyed being back at her old school.

“Being here today brought back memories of my days at NIU,” Abrams said. “I felt like I was back home.”

Many students enjoyed the performances and the message of the program.

“I really like the talent that CAB and the Center for Black Studies brought to NIU,” said Jorrie Reed, senior organizational corporate communications major. “I felt this was a great way to end Black History Month and I’m glad I attended.”