Black History Month celebrated with dancing, food and films

1/29/2014, 1:47 p.m.
Lewis University will celebrate Black History Month in February with a series of events located on the university’s main campus ...

Lewis University will celebrate Black History Month in February with a series of events located on the university’s main campus in Romeoville. All events are free of charge and open to the public.

Black History Month will kick off with the opening ceremony, “Encourage, Empower and Engage” at 5 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Student Union. Celebrate the rich history of African Americans with music, entertainment, food and a special dedication to Nelson Mandela, South African activist and former president. Featuring student groups and reflections, attendees will come together and celebrate the positive and powerful impact African Americans have made all over the world.

Line dancing has evolved into an extremely modern, urban dance style that is popular across the globe. Instructor Beylnda Head of “Lines in Motion” Line Dancing Group and Bolingbrook Club Coop’s Den will be on campus to teach the latest and most popular line dances at 6 p.m. on Feb. 10 in the Student Union.

A documentary screening of “Dark Girls” and discussion will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Student Union. “Dark Girls” is a controversial documentary film that explores the prejudices of which dark-skinned women face throughout the world. Watch as one African-American woman recounts the moment that her mother both affirmed her beauty and made her self-conscious of her skin tone. After the film, an audience discussion will be held and facilitated by Dr. Tennille Allen, associate professor of sociology and the director of African American Studies Program.

At 2 p.m. Feb. 13, a “Black and Latino Historical Crossings” presentation will address the unique perspectives of individuals who identify as both Black and Latino and how that identity (among others) can impact the educational experience. The presentation is to be both validating

and empowering to the Afro Latinos in the room, and informative to others who hope to be better allies in the success of our Afro Latinos on campus. Dr. Gabriel Cortez, assistant professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Development at Northeastern Illinois University.

will also lead the conversation about history of Africa in Latino communities.

“The Great Debaters” will be shown at 6 p.m. Feb. 20 in the Student Union. Based on a true story, this Denzel Washington/Oprah Winfrey film examines the challenges that young African-American men and women faced in the 1930s. A discussion will take place afterward with Dr/ Allen and Dr. Mark Schultz, professor of history.

The Black Student Union will host the annual "Black Heritage Ball" at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 in the University Dining Room. The evening will include a special dinner, recognition of the BSU executive board, entertainment and dancing. For ticket information, contact Kimberly J. Brayboy, associate director of Multicultural Student Services at (815) 836-5331.

Concluding Black History Month, “The Heart and Soul Food Experience” will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 28 in the Student Union. Soul food has always been a dominant part of the African American culture. Its flavor and presence in celebrations and Sunday dinners has always been traditional. Attendees of this event will enjoy live music and the same great tasting soul food prepared in a healthy way.