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Say it Loud, Say it Proud: ABC’s Black History Month Events

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February is a huge month, as we all know. However, this isn’t just because Valentine’s Day is next week. It’s a huge month because Feb. 1st marks the beginning of Black History Month. Of course the month is celebrated nationally, but it’s also celebrated right here on campus through various events put on by the Association of Black Collegians (ABC). Throughout this month, ABC will be holding some of their biggest events, so naturally there’s much excitement towards them.

Cearra Jackson, a new member of ABC, has already been to many of their events and enjoyed each one,  especially “Ask Me About My Hair,” where a panel took questions and discussed topics regarding the history and evolution of black hair. Now with the upcoming events approaching, Jackson hopes that Maryville students will come out and attend them even if they feel they already know about the culture.  In this setting, students will be able to have fun and “get educated the right way [about African American culture]” Jackson said.

Some of ABC’s events for this month include the Evening of Art & Jazz, Soul of a Nation and Moonlight Breakfast Trivia Night. ABC will even be teaming up with the Muslim Student Association (MSA) for “Black and Muslim: A Shared History.”

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Maryville student, Tommy Henry’s Abstract painting at the Evening of Art and Jazz. Photo courtesy of Nya Dorsey.

ABC President Taylor Deed has been looking forward to collaborating with MSA for a while now. “We have always shown each other mutual support in events,” Deed said. According to Deed, “Black and Muslim” shows an aspect of Black History Month that most people aren’t aware of. And with the climate of the election and many things going on outside the Maryville Community, Deed feels that it’s important to show that “we acknowledge them, we cherish them, and we value them and our connected history.”

Throughout the month of February students will be given the opportunity to experience the black culture hands on and gain so much exposure through the play, trivia night, art, music and even food. Because Maryville is continuously becoming more diverse, Deed feels that it’s important that these types of events continue to be held on campus.

And when Feb. 28 rolls around and it’s all said and done, Deed hopes that Maryville students will gain “understanding and the validation and bravery to go outside of their comfort zones and intermingle and support people that don’t necessarily look like them.”

According to Deed, It’s so important to branch out and become familiar with the different cultures on campus, even if you’re not so familiar with them.

ABC’s mission is to educate the main population on campus on Black culture. Black History Month gives ABC the perfect opportunity to do that on a whole different level. Deed feels It gives the campus a chance to tune in and learn about the vibrant history we often don’t see. “We celebrate our culture and we celebrate who we are, and we want people to share in that,” says Deed. So, if you haven’t already, you should definitely make time to come out and attend the many events going on.

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