Black History Month events begin today

Kevin Allen

Issues of race in the United States are often simplified into black and white, but this year for Black History Month, organizers hope to draw attention to the complexities of race.

Lloren Foster, assistant professor of African-American Studies, said people’s identities are prefabricated, and this month’s events aim to “unpack the complexity of what people are.”

The events for this year’s Black History Month celebration include movies, lectures, guest speakers and public displays.

One of those events is the Black Classic Film Series, an annual series organized by Housing and Residence Life along with the Black History Celebration and Cultural Preservation Committee.

The films show a progression of African-American culture and their portrayal in American media, said Crystal Hardeman, hall director for Pearce-Ford Tower, who organized the film series.

She said one of the goals of the series is to make people think about stereotypes and where they come from.

Foster said people still have a long way to go in race relations, but he hopes this series will open up the discussion beyond February to the rest of the year.

The films will be shown every Thursday and snacks will be provided, Hardeman said.

WKYU-PBS will also show several documentaries and other programs during Black History Month, she said.

Another event is a lecture series given by Foster, which will cover the scholarly aspects of African-American culture and history, Foster said.

The BHCCP committee, along with several student organizations, has also arranged for guest speakers such as Fox News political commentator Juan Williams and author Frank Dobson Jr., Foster said.

There will also be several displays throughout the month in Cravens Library and the Educational Resource Center, including posters, books and DVDs, according to the website for the Office of Diversity Programs.