February 3, 2015
15-43

Rebecca J. James, Graduate Assistant

VSU Celebrates Black History Month With Educational, Social, and Service Events

VALDOSTA —Valdosta State University’s Black History Month Committee presents Refreshing the Black Essence: Celebrating Our Past, Critiquing the Present, and Moving Forward, a celebration of Black History Month. The series of events will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 5, in the University Center Magnolia Room.

The evening will feature presentations by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Black Student League, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council; a performance by the Valdosta City All-Star Step Team, which is composed of local middle school and high school students; and a What is Black art show featuring works created by VSU students. Dr. Shirley Hardin, director of VSU’s African-American Studies Program, will deliver the keynote address.

All VSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public, are invited to attend. Business casual dress is required.

Refreshing the Black Essence: Celebrating Our Past, Critiquing the Present, and Moving Forward events will continue throughout the month with:

• Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 — Movie Night

Black History Month movie night will be held at 5 p.m. each Friday evening in the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center Room 3009. Each of the movies selected has been directed and produced by a member of the black community and is educational. Titles include "School Daze," "Get On Up," and "Harlem Nights." This event is open to all VSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public.

• Feb. 9-March 6 — Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge

Participants in the Biggest Loser Weight Loss Challenge should meet in the Student Recreation Center at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9, for the first weigh-in. There is a $15 entry fee to join the competition. Physical trainers will provide participants with sample meal plans and grocery lists, as well as opportunities to exercise in a group setting on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. The participant who loses the most weight by the end of the competition will receive a prize. Contact Eric Roberson, National Pan-Hellenic Council vice president, at elroberson@valdosta.edu for more information.

• Feb. 16 — N-word Roundtable Discussion

The N-word Roundtable Discussion will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, in the University Center Magnolia Room. The topic of discussion will be the N-word, how it is used in the black community, and if the word is expected to become obsolete.

• Feb. 17 — Know Your Rights Forum

The Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Mu Omnicron Chapter, will host a Know Your Rights Forum beginning at 7:06 p.m. in the University Center Magnolia Room. The event is open to all VSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. The forum will discuss human rights in relation to the justice system.

• Feb. 18 — Black History Month Quiz Bowl

The Black History Month Quiz Bowl will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Hugh C. Bailey Science Center Room 1011. Student organizations will compete in a quiz bowl-style tournament. An email invitation to join the event has been sent out to student organizations on campus. Contact India Green at ijgreen@valdosta.edu for more information.

• Feb. 20 — Peace Rally  

The Peace Rally will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Palms Quad. The rally will consist of various activities, including painting and crafts. Collegiate Women of VSU, the Black Student League, the Gay-Straight Alliance, and VSU Women of Diversity will lead the rally. All VSU students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend.

• Feb. 21, Day of Service

The Black History Month Committee will sponsor a service opportunity, and all VSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public, are encouraged to participate. Details will be announced soon.  

• Feb. 23, Blood Drive

A blood drive, conducted by One Blood, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. near the University Center fountain. The blood drive will be open to all VSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public.  

• Feb. 24, Thomas-Pierce Scholarship Gala

The Thomas-Pierce Scholarship Gala will begin at 7 p.m. in Student Union Ballrooms A and B. The gala will celebrate the integration of schools and the first black students to enroll at VSU — Robert Pierce and Drewnell Thomas. All VSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public are invited to attend. Formal attire is required. Tickets are $20 for VSU students and $30 for non-VSU students and may be purchased at the Office of Social Equity or online. Interested parties may contact Nicholas Buford, Student Government Association vice president, at nsbuford@valdosta.edu for more information. The Thomas-Pierce Scholarship benefits first-generation college students. Read "Judge Hatchett to Speak at Thomas-Pierce Scholarship Dinner Feb. 24" for the full story.

• Feb. 25, Chasing Time

The Sigma Chapter of Delta Phi Delta Dance Fraternity Inc., Deep Release Poetry Society, and the Kappa Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. will host Chasing Time at 7 p.m. in Student Union Ballrooms B and C. This is a black history program centered on the evolution of dance from the 20th to the 21st century and will feature poetry, dance, prize drawings, and food. 

• Feb. 27-28, Third Annual African-American Artists Festival

The African-American Aritsts Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday in the University Center Magnolia Room. There will be displays, performances, and presentations by local artists, historical churches and organizations, writers, poets, singers, dancers, and musicians, including an African drummer, and lots more. This event is free of charge and open to VSU faculty, staff, and students, as well as the general public. Contact Dr. Beverley Blake, senior advisor with VSU Centralized Advising, at drblake@valdosta.edu to learn more.

The story of Black History Month began in 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). This organization was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and is known today as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH). ASNLH sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Negro History Week later become Black History Month, an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans.

Contact Juwan Andrews, Black History Month Committee chairman, at (229) 333-5463 or sjandrews@valdosta.edu for more information.

On the Web:

http://www.valdosta.edu/colleges/arts-sciences/african-american-studies/

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

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