DSU Marks Black History Month

By Alan Van Ormer

Throughout February, Dakota State University students, as well as faculty and community members, will learn more about the African American culture during Black History Month.

"It provides an opportunity to learn more about another culture and the dynamics of how they interact within that culture and with others," said Jennifer Aranda, Diversity Coordinator in the Office of Diversity Services. "A lot of the activities we have planned are designed to spark conversation. Conversation should be interactive."

Allie Winkle, an exercise science major from Anaheim, Calif., said it is important to have a month dedicated to Black history. "Some of these people fought to give us rights we now enjoy and take for granted," she said. "Looking back at their lives should motivate us to value the opportunities we have lest they be taken away."

In addition, Winkle said it is important to note that even one person can make a change. She noted the experiences of early African American slaves and civil rights leaders.

The focus of the DSU activities this year recognize the contributions of African Americans in the shaping of South Dakota history. On Monday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Underground, there will be an opening celebration that includes refreshments. Childcare will be available for families.

Throughout the month there will be many activities to help students understand what Black History Month is all about.

An exhibit is on display at the Office of Diversity Services through Feb. 16. In addition, on Feb. 11, Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, a reality television show that premiered on FX in 2006 will be shown. Black-White was a series that followed two families, one white and the other black. Through studio quality make-up, the two families traded races and experienced what life was like in the other family's shoes.

On Feb. 10, the Sioux Falls chapter of the NAACP will be on campus at noon. On Feb. 14, between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., there will be Chicago Step-style dance lessons at the TC Underground.

On Feb. 22, students and community members will go to Sioux Falls to visit the South Dakota African American Museum. Then on Feb. 24 at noon in the TC Underground, students will be able to meet Katherine Davis Chapman Tillman.

For information on other activities throughout the month, visit the Office of Diversity Services.

Last Updated: 1/12/12