Bluefield College students are celebrating Black History Month and are inviting the community to join them for the remainder of the events hosted by the BC Black Student Alliance (BSA) throughout the month of February.
The BSA kicked off the month-long celebration with a presentation titled “Understanding Self” by Valeria Burrell, a BC online admissions counselor. Sherelle Morgan, staff advisor for the BSA, spoke about the kickoff event and the purpose of the overall celebration.
“All young people need positive role models to inspire them and to help them realize that they, too, have the potential to achieve their dreams and accomplish great things,” said Morgan. “Young African Americans need to be aware of the many positive achievements of black men and women throughout history and present day. Knowing what others have done inspires confidence in young people to know that they can do worthwhile things, too. Without this knowledge and inspiration, young people can end up wasting precious time and energy blaming society or the government and feeling victimized.”
Other BC events for Black History Month included a chapel service led by Bluefield College alumnus and pastor Garry Moore,who spoke about “the legacy of a strong preacher.” As part of his presentation, Rev. Moore shared stories and examples of how Moses, Jesus, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led their generations to better things.
“I enjoyed the passion and training behind the speakers,” said BC junior Aaron Swingle. “I could tell they were knowledgeable in scripture and preached from it, instead of only from life experiences, which can be tainted by our own human perception. I also enjoyed the passion they brought as African Americans.”
Other activities included a lecture title “God is in Control: No Time for Foolery” by Lamar Duff; a vocatio credit movie night where students ate pizza, watched Detroit, and had the chance to win prizes from drawings; and an informal presentation on the power of a person’s purpose of Omi Oakes.
“Black History Month reminds me that the people before me have led and set an example for the African American culture, and for me to be the president and be a member of this group (BSA) is important,” said sophomore Israel Penn. “I admire Dr. (Martin Luther) King and Rosa (Parks) and Malcolm (X) for all their accomplishments, and I believe in my heart that I should keep the legacy going for them.”
Dr. Keith Jefferson also gave a lecture on “Love Thy Neighbor,” and BC professor Dr. Roderick Neal shared a presentation on “Race and Racism: Past, Present and Future,” which provided a scientific explanation of racism and ethnicity and examined it from the past, present and future perspectives. “Race,” said Dr. Neal, “has been socially constructed. There is no gene for racism. It is a learned behavior, and we learn behavior from socialization.”
Black History Month celebrations and events will continue until the end of February. Still on the calendar is a speaker series featuring Dr. Deirdre Guyton, who will share “Education is Liberation,” Monday,February 19, 2018 at 10 a.m. in the Lansdell Hall Board Room, and Dr. Guy Sims, who will present “Brotherman: Black Images and Independence in the Comic Book World,” Monday, February 26 at 10 a.m. in Shott Hall A&B.
The remaining celebration will also include a Ram Fam Road Trip, where the BSA will coordinate a trip to the Appalachian Athletic Conference basketball tournament in Kingsport, Tennessee, Friday and Saturday, featuring a skit with BSA students depicting prominent people in black history.
“The Black Student Alliance has worked diligently to plan and execute a full calendar of events for the month of February,” said Morgan. “These events involve faith and fellowship, education, entertainment, school spirit, cultural awareness, and community involvement.”
For more information, contact Dr. Neal by phone at (276) 326-4277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Morgan by phone at (276) 326-4305 or by email at email@example.com.
“The Black Student Alliance would like to thank (BC president) Dr. (David) Olive and the Bluefield College Leadership Team for giving us the opportunity to share our mission and vision through this month-long celebration of black history,” added Morgan. “We could not have offered such a robust program without their support.”