Celebrations of black Americans’ culture, history and accomplishments are underway at Missouri State University.
Black History Month, traditionally celebrated during the month of February in the U.S., started with a Black History Month Kickoff event on Feb. 1 at Missouri State University.
Yvania Garcia-Pusateri, executive director for MSU Multicultural Programs, said Black History month is focused on learning about and appreciating the contributions of African Americans that we may not have learned about in school.
“We think about just certain leaders in the black community but (do not) really learn about the true history and the various and important contributions that the black community has given to the U.S. and in a more global context,” Garcia-Pusateri said. “I think for us, (Black History Month) is about education, it’s about celebration (and) it’s about — in a small form — activism.”
Main events during the month include a Black Excellence Film Festival, a “Black Panther” movie screening and the “Sankofa: Exploring the Diaspora” Banquet.
Nia Morgan, Multicultural Programs graduate assistant, says the banquet will feature cultural food, dress and performances.
“We will be educating people through the food that is provided — in that it will be from multiple black cultures — but also displaying that through some of the presentations that will happen, performances as well as the fashion show that will take place at the end.”
Christina Gardner, MSU Multicultural Services graduate assistant, said she hopes MSU Black History Month programming will help to combat prejudices and ignorance.
“Part of what our programming is going to try and do is look at some of the reasons for those ignorances and look at both the celebration of the positivity but also (the) realization of all of the negative things that have happened that contribute to the experience of black people,” Gardner said.
For a full schedule of events, visit https://www.missouristate.edu/MulticulturalPrograms/
Information contributed from previous reporting by Emily Yeap of the MO State Journal.