Discussion aims to break stereotypes

By Jen Bland

As part of the celebration of Black History Month, a panel discussion called “It’s a Black Thing: Would You Like to Understand?” will take place at 9 p.m. tonight in the Grant Towers South B Formal Lounge.

The discussion is aimed at educating students about the African-American culture, musical taste, clothing and anything else the audience has questions about.

Kelli Hinton, an officer of the GTS Black Student Caucus, said the discussion is aimed at educating students who might have come from towns where they weren’t exposed to black people.

Hinton said the discussion is being conducted to encourage discussion among different races. She said she wants students to ask questions, not assume.

“A lot of students have a negative impression of black students,” she said. “Their first impression of us seems to be they’re either afraid or they tend to lump us together before they get to know us.”

She said the discussion is a good way for students to broaden their horizons and ask questions they might have.

“The discussion will give students an insight that we are different and if students have questions they can ask them here,” Hinton said. “It’s also to encourage blacks to be more open when they are asked questions.”

A lot of times students feel stupid asking us questions or they think no one will answer them, she said.

“One of the main things we’re trying to accomplish is discouraging stereotypes,” she added.

Thomas Gary, a DeKalb County Board member, and NIU students David Seaton and Lisa Ellerbe, who are members of the Black Student Caucus, also will be on hand at the discussion to answer questions.