SIU to kick off Black history month with full calendar of events

By Juniper Oxford, Staff Reporter

Black History Month kicks off at the beginning of February and is sponsored by the Black Resource Center, the Office of the Associate Chancellor of Diversity and Student Affairs. 

The kick off event will be at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3 in  Shryock Auditorium. The event will feature a presentation on the 15th amendment by keynote speaker and SIU law professor Jennifer Brobst, a Dunham Dance featuring Laurie Goux, and Zuzu Acrobats. 

The Black Affairs Council represents African American students on campus and is one of the organizations hosting and helping with events during Black History Month.


“Hopefully we will have the same outcome as last year, or maybe even more show up,” Avian Wilkins, a junior studying political science and president of BAC said. “I think if this thing is pushed out there enough, people will show up.” 

The theme of this month is African Americans, the vote and their role and impact in voting, Grace Gunn, a freshman majoring in exploratory studies and council member of BAC, said.  

Wilkins said there have been issues with getting out the vote in the past but she hopes to renew those efforts this year. 

“We have had a lot of issues,” Wilkins said. “We brought out a lot of students to vote but they were turning people away because they weren’t registered to vote here in Jackson County, that were black. So, we are trying to figure out how we can get people registered to vote here like I did last year.” 

The majority of Black History Month events will be free.

 “The only thing that does cost is the Taste of Blackness, on the 29th, on the last day, that Saturday. The tickets are $10 and it is at New Zions Church,” Gunn said.

The Black Affairs Council has two events that they are hosting during the month of February. 


“We are in charge of and organizing the Black Grad Luncheon,” Gunn said. “It’s between the black undergraduates and graduate students to come together and have a lunch together where they can figure out and receive more information from black grad students about grad school.”

The Black Graduate Luncheon will discuss different topics that center around the questions that black students may have about continuing their education. 

“Whether it is the right fit for them to go to grad school, if another school would be better, the GRE, what it takes to get in, what you should have on your resume, and to connect to campus more with all of our black students so they can have a mentor to reach out to and to network, essentially,” Gunn said. 

If students cannot make the first event, the Black Affairs Council will be hosting a second Black Graduate Luncheon. 

“We have it twice in case someone can’t come,” Gunn said. “The first day is on the 18th, a Tuesday, and then the week after that, the next Tuesday. It is from 11-2 in the Old Main Lounge. It’s free and we will have food.” 

In addition to the luncheon, the Black Affairs Council will also be co-sponsoring a trivia event with the Carbondale NAACP. 

“We will have black trivia questions that revolve around history, entertainment, milestones and the black community,” Gunn said.

The Carbondale Black History Scholar Bowl will be on Feb. 6. at 5 p.m. in the Student Services Building. 

Other events in February are the Tunnel of Oppression Feb. 11-13, the Afrocentric Fashion Show on Feb. 23, and a movie screening of “Harriet” on Feb. 5. 

For a full calendar of events, click here.

Reporter Juniper Oxford can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JuniperOxford.

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