Centre College has assembled a full schedule to mark the celebration of Black History Month on campus. Organized by a coalition of student organizations and administrators, the planning committee hopes that the special events will engage the Centre community on various subjects concerning black identity.
“Black History Month is a time for our community to come together to celebrate, learn and engage with the history, struggles and successes within the black community,” said Kiana Fields, diversity and inclusion fellow.
“Blackness and the black community is not a monolithic group of people, but a diverse group that varies in perspectives, ideals and identities,” she continued. “It is important to recognize and honor those differences and uncover the histories that have been silenced.”
This Saturday, Centre will host a Black History Month Celebration Show to honor the collective history of Black and American culture. The show will include a range of student performances, including a step routine, dances, songs, poetry and spoken word in Vahlkamp Theater at 6 p.m.
The Grace Doherty Library will also feature “Moments in Time: The African American Experience,” a photo and archive collection representing the African-American experience in the local community presented by Michael Hughes, researcher and scholar from the Danville-Boyle County African-American Historical Society. Additionally, photos and stories from the Shelby City African-American Cemetery Project will be on display showcasing work by the African-American Historical Society and Centre student volunteers.
Joining this display through Feb. 27 will be photos and other documents relating to African-American soldiers, provided by James Hunn, a director at Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Both Hughes and Hunn will be available to talk with the campus community about the collections on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Grace Doherty Library.
Later in the month, the Latin American Student Organization and the Bonner Program will host a discussion on Afro Latinx Identity, while the Diversity Student Union will discuss the topic of solidarity. On Feb. 26, the College will also launch the Phenomenal Women campaign, an across-campus photography display inspired by Maya Angelou that focuses on various black women and a showing of Hidden Figures. Lastly, the student organization Sister-to-Sister will hold an Empowerment Mic for students to perform slam poetry and spoken word.
The committee hopes that these programs will connect Centre’s community to the diversity within black culture and promote conversations about race and intersectionality.
In addition, Fields notes that the programming will serve personal and reflective purposes throughout Black History Month.
“This is a time for us all to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are and how to move forward,” she concludes.
by Kathleen Murphy ’18
February 15, 2018
Photo courtesy of Michael Hughes of the Danville-Boyle County African-American Historical Society