Every February, Kean University takes the time to honor and highlight the significance of Black History Month throughout the community. This year was no exception as there were plenty of events on campus which stayed true to African traditions and cultures.
The festivities began with the Black History Month Kickoff on Monday, Feb. 3 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium sponsored by Student Organization's P.U.L.S.E. Programming Board.
At the kickoff, there were a variety of festivities for students to partake in while learning more about African Americans right to vote and being able to decorate their own dream catcher and placing them on a cloud as an homage to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic "I Have A Dream" speech. Food was also provided at the event.
Around the same time, there was an annual flag raising hosted by the Pan-African Student Union (P.A.S.U.) and Office of Student Government in the MSC Patio with a speech from James Conyers, Ph.D. director of the Office of Africana Studies.
On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Kean Poetry Club held an interactive discussion called Black Love Matters in the Cougar's Den from 8 to 10 p.m. which was about black love and the importance of loving one's self.
The following day on Feb. 6, the National Council of Negro Women held a day-long event called For Us By Us which was a conference that embraced everything Black by highlighting Kean University's black student body and brands created by Kean alumni and the community. Additionally there were breakout sessions from career to creative advice, self-care tips and information on featured businesses.
Know Your Roots took place on Feb. 11 in the Commuter Resource Center (CRC) from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. showcasing the beauty of black culture through the combination of multidimensional aspects from different countries.
Students had the opportunity to learn about historical figures, pop culture, have a taste of various ethnic foods and were presented with the chance to win giveaways.
To Be Black & Woman was a discussion held by the National Council of Negro Women about the factors allowing people of color to thrive in higher education and being informed on the resources available to them which took place in MSC Room 228 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
The Office of Africana Studies also hosted a number of events through the week of Feb. 10 to 14 such as its annual African Heritage Jazz Word concert on Wednesday, Feb. 12 in the Little Theatre and "DNA-Using It To Change My Slave Last Name" on Thursday, Feb. 13, which was a screening of Nware Burge's film, an adjunct professor at Kean.
That same day, the Black Love Affair took place in Downs Hall from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. which was an event connecting Black excellence and love through music, art and entertainment while honoring the women in the community and allowing creatives on campus to showcase their gifts. Food was provided.
Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke in the North Avenue Academic Building (NAAB) Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 14 as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series.
The Love Jones Open Mic honored African American music and art on Feb. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Cougar's Den through an interactive open mic open to all students eager to showcase their talents.
A full calendar of all the events that took place throughout the month could be found here. Kean University continues to honor its diverse student body all year long with many events such as these.