Next week will mark the start of Black History Month and, thanks to The University of Southern Mississippi’s Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, Southern Miss students will have many opportunities to learn about African-American history and culture. The university will host and sponsor events throughout the month in honor of Black History Month.
“It is important for students, all students, to learn about African-American history,” said Valencia Walls, coordinator of the Office of Multicultural programs. “We are very selective in the programs that we choose for the month. The events are created to be informative, enlightening and entertaining.”
February’s events include an essay contest sponsored by Southern Miss’ chapter of the NAACP and an oratorical contest sponsored by the Xi Mu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
The events will start Black History Month off with, “A Night at the Cotton Club,” Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. at Woods Theatre. Events will continue throughout the month concluding with a talk from Joseph Byrd of Xavier University titled, “Trials, Tribulations and How We Overcome Them” Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in Owings-McQuagge Hall, Room 105.
“I hope that through the programs, students will gain a greater respect and understanding of African-American history and the responsibility that comes along with it,” Walls said. “There are also several programs that offer scholarship opportunities for USM students.”
Much of Southern Miss’ student body and faculty have high expectations for next month’s events. “My hopes for this years Black History Month would be to not only educate but to inspire the many students that attend The University of Southern Mississippi to make a difference,” said student Kendall Lancaster.
Rebecca Tuuri, a USM professor of African-American history said, “I hope every member of the USM community will attend the events offered for Black History Month.”
“They will teach participants about not only the African-American experience, but also American history more broadly,” she said.
Here is a complete list of the month’s events:
Feb. 2, 6 p.m. “A Night at the Cotton Club”– The Woods Theatre
Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m. “Come Hell or High Water: The Battle of Turkey Creek”
Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m. Liberal Arts Building, room 108 (Gonzales Auditorium)
Feb. 9, 7 p.m. “Knowing Your Worth: A response to the decline in African-American self respect”- Union Hall of Honors
Feb. 10, 11-1 p.m. “Student Soul Food Luncheon”- Fresh Food Company
Feb. 10, 7 p.m. “The Armstrong-Branch Lecture Series” –
Feb. 12, 6 p.m. “The Lampkin-Hughes Oratorical Contest”- Trent Lott Center
Feb. 19, noon “Aiming High: Strategies for Success in Graduate School” – TCC 218A/B
Feb. 19, 6 p.m. “Mock Trial” – TCC Ballroom II
Feb. 23, 6 p.m. “The Eagle Awards”- Trent Lott Center 103
Feb. 24, noon. “250 Years: Black Poetry from Phillis Wheatley to the Poets of Southern Miss” – RC’s Lounge (includes scholarship opportunities)
Feb. 25, 7 p.m. “Trials, Tribulations and How We Overcome Them” Featuring Dr. Joseph K. Byrd of Xavier University- Owings-McQaugge Hall, room 105
The NAACP Essay Contest will be held throughout the month.