Black History Month

GVL / Archive
Chuck D and co-chairs Bobby Springer and Kin Ma and many others participate in the silent march as a part of Grand Valley State Universitys Martin Luther King Jr. Day events on Monday, January 20, 2014.

GVL / Archive Chuck D and co-chairs Bobby Springer and Kin Ma and many others participate in the silent march as a part of Grand Valley State University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events on Monday, January 20, 2014.

Drew Howard

A variety of events both educational and entertaining have been scheduled to celebrate Black History Month this February at Grand Valley State University.

Black History Month at GVSU will kick off on Feb. 2 with a LIB 100/201 approved presentation by Pero Dagbovie, author of “What is African American History?”

In his presentation, Dagbovie will discuss the evolution of Black History Month throughout time.

Bobby Springer, associate director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at GVSU, said Dagbovie’s presentation is a must-see for students.

“I think this would be one for students to attend to find out why we celebrate Black History Month,” Springer said. “(Dagbovie) is going to give some foundational information about it, and he’s going to break down the significance and presence of African Americans.”

Throughout the first week of Black History Month, GVSU’s Black Student Union will be hosting an event every day. These include a comedy show, a game night, an informational session about the organization and an award show for students.

The BSU will also be hosting a “Celebration of Black Arts” night on Feb. 3 in the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center. All students from the GVSU community are invited to learn more about black culture through a presentation of music, dance, food and spoken word.

Brianna Pannell, president of BSU, said one of the more notable events taking place is a LIB 100/201 approved presentation by rapper and actor David Banner on Feb. 15.

“One event that is highly anticipated is the keynote address from the world-renowned rapper, actor and community activist David Banner,” Pannell said. “He will be coming to address different events that have happened in the world that are affecting the black community, like police brutality, protest, education and other topics.”

Students, staff and faculty members will also be given the opportunity to participate in a day of service on Feb. 13 at the Mel Trotter Ministries in Grand Rapids, an organization devoted to ending homelessness in West Michigan.

Volunteers will spend four hours at Mel Trotter Ministries helping the staff serve lunch, clean the kitchen and perform other tasks.

In deciding what events to set up for Black History Month, Springer said he and the other members of the Black History Month committee aimed to create a lineup that was representative of the culture as a whole.

“I wanted to make sure that we covered as much territory as possible. With (the committee’s) help, we were able to do that,” Springer said. “We try to have a diverse array of activities, ones that somebody would want to come and be a part of.”

Springer added that it’s important for all students regardless of their background to take an interest in Black History Month.

“I learn something new every year doing Black History Month, and even though I’m an African American and have been exposed to a lot, I’m always learning new things,” he said. “For individuals who don’t come from this background, I’m quite sure they can learn even more.”

For a full list of Black History Month events, contact BSU at [email protected]