In contribution to the spirit of appreciation that embodies the month of February, the African Students Club and the Black Student Council find ways to recognize the history of African-American culture.
Tonight, the ASC will host the event “A Taste of Africa,” from 6-8 p.m. in the Curris Center Ballroom.
The event is open to the public and will showcase African culture through food and music.
The event helped to relay the reverence of African and African-American culture as it followed the recent event, “An Evening with Spike Lee: America Through My Lens,” which touched on race relations, stereotypes in Hollywood and social and political agendas.
These events are not rare occurrences for Murray State, however, as the University has hosted similar events in the past. In 2011, the University invited the renowned black author and poet Maya Angelou to speak to students about her historical experiences with racial issues and the importance of education.
Among Angelou’s catalog of historically influential achievements, she worked alongside black liberators such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X.
Courtney Brasher, junior, from Nashville, Tenn., president of the Black Student Council, credits brave African-American leaders for the opportunities she has today as a liberated individual.
“If it were not for bold, courageous African-American leaders who relentlessly fought for liberty and justice, most African-Americans, as well as other races, would not have the opportunity to enjoy life as it is today,” Brasher said. “Although we can never repay the brave men and women for their valiant pursuit of equality, we can show our appreciation by striving for excellence in leadership, character, education and all that we do”.
Black History Month is an opportunity to commemorate the efforts and sacrifices of those brave souls who paved the way for my generation and beyond.”
The BSC is also working within residential colleges to bring awareness to black culture. At the end of the month, White Residential College will be hosting the event “A Soul Food Happening,” where several black residents of White college will prepare a soul food meal which will be served to students living in White College.
According to James Broughton, professor of Health Sciences and Human Services, the idea behind programs like this one is to have more recognition and social events among international, white and black students living together, to understand cultural differences and similarities.
“Like any other major event on campus, I would like to see more students come out and support these types of programs” Broughton said. “The African-American culture has played, and continues to play, a vital role in the development and history of the U.S. I would like to have more students and community members engage and recognize the impact the African-American culture has had in our history and how the African-American culture will impact our future.”
Morgan Pearson, junior from Louisville, Ky., treasurer of the BSC, readily agrees with Broughton’s statement and the importance of Black History Month is not limited to African-American history, but is pertinent to American history in general.
“Black history month is an important time for everyone, not just African-Americans, to reflect and learn more about the trials and triumphs African-Americans have experienced throughout history,” Pearson said. “It isn’t just the history for blacks, it has an important place in American history, and it should not be overlooked. We must learn from the past, and stand on the shoulders of our ancestors in order to fulfill not only our dreams, but theirs as well.”
Story by Alex Berg, Staff writer.