Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

Serving the Southern Illinois University community since 1916.

The Daily Egyptian

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A look forward into Black History Month at SIU

A+look+forward+into+Black+History+Month+at+SIU

Black History Month is a time for acknowledgement and celebration of past and present accomplishments in the black community.

Black History week dates back to the early 1900s when Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). Dr. Woodson initiated the first Black History week in February of 1926, this week was chosen because it includes the birthdates of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass.

The month-long commemoration that we know today didn’t commence until 1976 when President Gerald Ford urged all Americans to “recognize the important contributions made to our nation’s life and culture by Black citizens.”

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It wasn’t until 1986 that Congress passed Public Law 99-244, which made February National Black History Month. 

The theme of Black History month at Southern Illinois University this year is ancestral healing. The university and a number of its registered student organizations will be hosting events throughout February to celebrate. 

It’s kick off was February 1, the event hosted Peter Alexander, a Professor of Law as the keynote speaker. Alexander spoke about his connection to his elders and ancestors who have supported him on his journey. 

A retrospective of the beginnings of Black American studies at SIU will take place Wednesday in the Student Services Building, Room 170. The event will be a presentation that discusses how Black Studies formed at SIU and what sacrifices were made to bring it about.

Guyon Auditorium will host Addressing, Unpacking and Healing “Misogynoir,” on Thursday, which will bring awareness to the ideology and provide a space to address experiences and to offer tools for healing for those who have been a victim of Misogynoir. Following this event, the Mississippi Room will host a T.I.P. Presents: Black ‘N Queer Roundtable on AIDS: Then & Now to discuss how the AIDS epidemic impacted Black lives and what we can do to heal from wounds from the past and present. 

The Black Resource Center will host a Vision Board and Paint Night on Friday to set goals and intentions for yourself for the new year and semester. This event is meant to create a space to come to peace with your past and set motion forward to your future accomplishments. Following this event, the Center for International Education will host a Cultural Show in the Student Center Ballrooms. 

The 3rd Annual Black Expo 2024 “Soaring to New Heights” will be hosted at the Carbondale Civic Center by The Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern Illinois on Saturday.

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The following Monday, Feb. 12, Beta Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. will host Black Women’s Appreciation Lunch. This event will be a space for the community to gather and express their appreciation, admiration and love for Black women in the community. 

The Black Resource Center, University Honors and many others are hosting multiple events on Feb. 13 in the Student Services Building and Moe Auditorium including an Employer Informational with the US Air Guard, Breaking Curses and FInding Peace seminar and “Sankofa: Let the Songs of the Ancestors Teach Us to Fly,” interspersed with Dance Presented by Dominique Atwood. 

Valentines Day will be another busy day hosted by The Black Resource Center and other contributors including All Faiths Discussion and Prayer Circle, an event for students to gather and pray for each other and the community. A Healing From Systems of Oppression Lecture and Discussion Series 1.0, a three part series led by international graduate student Adjoa Adu Poku, or AJ. 

AJ will guide attendees though the history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade and it impacts on her home country and continent. The evening of Feb. 14, Paul Purnell of the SIU Sages will host Health and Healing Mind Sets and Skill Sets, the event will show an overview of practices and tools that support optimal health. 

Throughout the remainder of Black History Month the University and its organizations will be hosting a number of other events to honor and celebrate the accomplishments and struggles of the Black community. Some of those events include My Ancestors Wildest Dreams: Black and an Officer in the US Space Force, the Black Magic Variety Show, Healing from Systems of Oppression Lecture and Discussion Series 2.0 & 3.0 and National Association of Black Journalists Media Day.

The month will close out with the Inaugural “BRC Alumni Reception” as well as the Inaugural “BRC Awards Ceremony” on Feb. 29. The BRC Alumni Reception will be a space where the Black Resource Center provides an opportunity for alumni to connect with current students and cultivate conversation around past experience. The awards ceremony will be the concluding ceremony where the Black Resource Center will formally acknowledge and celebrate the campus, local and alumni community.

Black History Month is a time for the University to honor and celebrate the Black Community past, present and future. 

 

For more information on Black History Month events readers can refer to the community calendar in the Daily Egyptian. 

News Editor Joei Younker can be reached at [email protected].



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