Kamryn Schnieder ~ Copy Editor
The University of Lynchburg will kick off their month-long celebration of Black history on Monday Feb. 1 with Rasheed Cromwell’s keynote “Renaissance and Revolution: Black History, Our History.”
While the pandemic has thrown a wrench in executing in-person events, the virtual calendar is complete with an exhibition at the Daura Gallery, courageous conversations, a poetry slam, a dance preview, a National Pan-Hellenic Council panel and a gospel concert.
Ashani Parker, a senior psychology and liberal arts major, said that she “enjoyed events thrown by the Black Student Association in the past. Recently I feel I’ve seen more organizations stepping up to throw or participate in Black history events and I feel like that’s a step in the right direction.” and she is excited to see how the BSA tackles a possible “trivia night” with social distancing.
Malik Nowlin, a senior music education major, explains that he would like to see more events involving “discussions where people can share their experiences and ask questions.”
Nowlin and Parker also share the idea that Black history does not always need to be a lecture. Nowlin noted that games and other more entertainment activities are “a great way to start the conversation…”
While Parker agreed that “Black history month shouldn’t be intimidating or heavy handed to the point that people aren’t listening. Games and activities can still be serious while creating an engaging atmosphere.”
Nowlin voiced that most of all he wants the community to make sure everyone feels safe.
Parker added that she would like to see an improvement through “the promotion of more trauma free Blackness. Because of recent events whenever I talk to a non-POC about race the focus of the conversation is typically on police brutality, poverty, violence, etc. Additionally, that’s most of what we see in media, social platforms, and the news. But trauma isn’t the only aspect of the Black experience and more efforts to highlight Black joy, honor achievements, and showcase aspects of the culture would be a good step towards normalizing Black culture and the experiences of Black students on campus.”
Students should keep watch on their emails for more news and dates in regards to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week, Black History Month, and activities surrounding these celebrations. Also check out the Knight-Capron’s exhibition titled: “Martin Luther King, Jr.: Poet, Philosopher, and Preacher.” and head to https://lynchburg.libcal.com/ to search for more events and talks about Black History.