UC Libraries celebrated Black History Month with a cultural program filled with poetry readings, theater performances and delicious cuisine.
The event was titled “Celebration of Excellence in Black History.” It was part of UC Libraries’ “Bridges to Diversity and Inclusion” initiative. The event was extremely well attended and guests included students, faculty, staff and administrators from across UC. Here is a multimedia slideshow that features highlights from the event: https://animoto.com/play/VYYiygBRepyAv4wXUj3RwQ
The program started with a presentation on the origins and foundations of Black History Month. Dr. Karen Cudjoe shared inspirational and empowering quotes from Black leaders. Her presentation also featured a mosaic of Black excellence that showed the impact Black people have made in the fields of: education, politics, business, civil rights, athletics, arts and culture.
Afterwards, Don Jason introduced UC Libraries’ Diversity Journaling Initiative. This initiative encourages UC students, faculty and staff to attend diversity programs on campus and write about them. Everyone at the event received a diversity diary.
Next, the event featured poetry readings by Nick Wantsala and Jenny Wright—Black Buttafly. The poetry was a mix of classic poems written by Lewis Latimer and original spoken word poems.
The poetry was followed by a theater performance presented by Donna Davis and Akosua Favors from the Soul Consciousness Theater Group. The performance highlighted the contributions Black inventors have made on society. It gave the audience a glimpse of what daily life would be like if we did not have inventions created by Black people. Meshia Anderson and June Taylor-Slaughter researched all of the inventors mentioned in the theater performance. They compiled their research into two eye-catching display boards that were showcased at the Black History Month event.
The final portion of the program featured presentations from student and community groups. These presentations highlighted the history and mission of each organization. The presentations also talked about the exciting programs and events hosted by the different groups. Here are the organizations that presented:
- African Students Association
- Black Graduate and Professional Student Association
- UC Black Women on the Move
- UC Graduate Student Consortium for Cultural Diversity in Chemistry
- Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio – Young Professionals
After the formal program concluded, everyone shared in a delicious soul food meal.
UC Libraries would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of Meshia Anderson, Program Coordinator, program participants and everyone who helped make the event a success. UC Libraries would also like to extend a special thanks to the UC Provost’s Office for the grant that made this event possible.
The “Celebration of Excellence in Black History” event occurred on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 2:30- 4:30 PM in Langsam Library. It was hosted in Room 462, UC Libraries’ new state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility.
Don Jason and Meshia Anderson