Feb 022010
Authors: David Martinez

For Danielle McConnell, a sophomore English major, February is a time to celebrate Black heroes and Black origins to where they are today.

And she will have plenty of opportunities to celebrate with likely more students this year.

Offering “quite a few” more programs than in 2009 –– at least four per week, coordinators said with increased word-of-mouth advertising and promotions on Facebook, CSU’s Black Definition and other coordinating groups are expecting a much greater turnout.

Whereas past years’ events have focused on the histories of prominent leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, 2010 Black History Month celebrations will center on the stories of untold Black heroes, said Kennisha Ayers, the vice president of Black Definition.

“A lot of the time, we focus on the same people,” said Ayers, a junior sports medicine major. “There are a lot of stories that people don’t know,” citing Darius Lovehall, a young 1920s Black poet, and Selma Lord, a young girl who became one of King’s devout followers.

Black History Month kicks off today at CSU with a proclamation from city Mayor Doug Hutchinson at CSU’s Lory Student Center Commons at noon. A keynote speech from Blane Harding, the director of Advising, Recruitment and Retention in the College of Liberal Arts, will follow.

McConnell says she will be attending and participating in as many of the events as she can, but that she’s especially excited about “Auction Block to Hip-Hop”, a play being put on by Between the Lines Production, Inc. and Black Definition on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. in the LSC Theater.

The story focuses on a hip-hop mogul who faces the issues of perpetuating negative stereotypes and learns about the history of Black struggles when he is visited by three ghosts.

Other events include a keynote speech by Bruce George, co-founder and creator of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam and a Black History Month Dance.

Ayers said that the biggest challenge was in organizing the events with a group of nine students with little or no experience in planning Black History Month. Although Ayers is vice president, this is her first year helping to plan the events.

“We didn’t really know where to start,” Ayers said. However, she added that taking on the new tasks with a new group was the best part of the experience.

Staff writer David Martinez can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Black history month kickoff

What: City Mayor Doug Hutichinson and Blane Harding, the director of Advising, Recruitment and Retention in the College of Liberal Arts, will speak to the CSU community about the importance of celebrating diversity

When: Today at noon

Where: CSU’s Lory Student Center Commons

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