Black History Month Matters

    Woman outsideBy Elizabeth Moore Jacobs, Roesch Library

    No matter what your take on the events of Ferguson and New York is, there is no denying that the subject of cultural unrest over race relations is front and center in the news. Some may find it uncomfortable, others may find it long overdue, but a critical discussion is happening right now. In December, the University of Dayton’s Academic Senate passed a resolution affirming the events that have been held on campus to address the issue of racism: “These efforts to educate and create opportunities for civil discourse that will help us move forward as a country and as a campus community are welcome, important and appreciated.”

    As part of this discourse, UD welcomes Black History Month. February is a time set aside to highlight both important historical achievements and the best of Black culture. It is a time when we remember the contributions of those individuals who overcame adversity and moved people closer towards the equality that we continue to strive for. We invite you to explore the wealth of information that Roesch Library has to offer on this subject. Specifically, John A Kirk has put together a list of Top 10 books for Black History Month that focus on the US civil rights movement.

    The library is also co-sponsoring a film screening of More Than a Month: Should Black History Month be Ended? on Feb. 19. A reviewer states that the film’s director “... inserts cleverly-staged re-enactments that add a great deal of humor to the proceedings; there are moments in which Tilghman's thoughtful satire resembles The Daily Show at its finest. A debate over the necessity of Black History Month may sound like a dry subject, but the director's snappy pacing and playful style make the documentary an immensely entertaining viewing experience.” The screening and discussion are open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. in Alumni Hall in room 101.

    The Office of Multicultural Affairs is sponsoring more than a dozen events to celebrate over the entire month. Some of the events include the opportunity to share in a homecooked meal featuring the recipes from the families and homes of UD employees, participating in a Solidarity March in front of Kennedy Union and joining OMA on a trip to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati. The events provide many options for expanding understanding through community.

    ArtsLIVE presents Joe Driscoll and Sekou Kouyate (sometimes called the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the kora’), who take on burning social issues, commenting on poverty, borders, immigration and inequality through music. Two theater productions are being offered: Unnoticed, written by UD student Kwynn Riley Townsend, and One Night in Birmingham, performed by the local non-profit Hope Road Youth and Community Theater.

    There is no better place to experience these diverse cultural and educational opportunities than our University of Dayton campus. There is no better time than now.