Film series begins in honor of Black History Month

Kayla Boyd

“Poetry is power” proved to be a recurring message in the documentary “Race is the Place,” which only reached a few students in Zacharias Hall’s TV room on Tuesday, Feb. 4. For those present, however, it rang true and hit home. 

In honor of Black History Month, Housing and Residence Life has sponsored a film series that will feature a different movie each week of February.

Jeremy Jenkins, a coordinator for HRL, said this is the third or fourth year HRL has had such a series. He said the turnout is usually greater, but inclement weather and intramural meetings probably kept students and members of the community from attending.

After the film, Jenkins facilitated a discussion about the viewers’ reactions to the movie.

“It’s one thing to watch the movie, it’s another thing to get people talking,” Jenkins said.

“Race is the Place” presented raw and unapologetic discussions about race. With an emphasis on poetry, the montage featured artists such as Piri Thomas, Amiri Baraka and Mayda del Valle. Each artist discussed racism and its survival in America through poetry, song, comedy or art.

For Las Vegas senior Tiffanee Lang, the inclusion of racism toward multiple ethnicities and races was surprising.

“Stuff like this doesn’t make me mad anymore,” Lang said. “[Racism] used to, but I don’t have energy for all that.”

“Race is the Place” premiered nationally on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, in Nov. 2005. It struck up conversation about the premise of race as a whole.

Lang said she wonders if our nation will ever progress to the point where the ethnicity question isn’t on any forms or applications.

“Why is the box there?” she asked. “When will we get to the point where it won’t be on there? What difference does race make to colleges?”

The rest of the series will be shown on each Tuesday at 7 p.m. Next week will feature “Question of Color” in Poland Hall.

The third film will be “Black Is Black Ain’t” in Bates-Runner Hall, and the final movie is “One Drop Rule” in Rodes-Harlin Hall. 

More information can be found on posters in each dormitory or by contacting HRL.