Nicole Meaney ’13, Staff Writer
Nicole Meaney ’13 Staff Writer In August 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed the famous words, “I have a dream.” Forty years later, his vision of equality is being realized. At Merrimack, four weeks of events have helped acknowledge the Civil Rights hero’s dream, and the achievements and progress recognized by Black History Month.
Each day during February, to spread knowledge on social media, the Office of Student Involvement has issued a daily message about Black History Month on Twitter under the handle @OSI_MC. On Feb. 4, it shared, “On this day in 1913, one of the most courageous women, Rosa Parks was born.”
On Valentine’s Day it tweeted, “On this day in 1923 the first black professional basketball team, ‘The Renaissance,’ was organized.” While the OSI took to cyberspace, RAs in Residence Halls acknowledged the celebration by adapting their bulletin boards to the theme.
McQuade Library displayed books about important figures in black history, including King, Parks, Malcolm X, and many others. The Writing Center celebrated with, appropriately enough, a Creative Work contest.
Students were encouraged to submit, by Feb. 20, a piece of writing, a video, a song, a drawing, or any other artistic interpretation of a quote that pertains to Black History Month. Winners will be announced Feb. 26, with first placing receiving $50 Mackbucks, and second place $25 Mackbucks.
On Feb. 11, Dr. Finnie Coleman gave a presentation entitled “Hip-Hop Culture, Race, and the Mythologies of a Post-Racial America.” The lecture addressed the role race has played and continues to play in hip-hop culture. Coleman also discussed how racial barriers are created and demolished by the perceptions of hip-hop culture, and addressed the misconceptions that can still arise within post-racial America.
From Feb. 11-16, the Asian, Latino, African, Native American (A.L.A.N.A.) club presented a Leaders of Black History exhibit that highlighted influential and important figures who contributed to America’s black and African heritage. On Feb. 26, Sodexo and Sparky’s are offering students a chance to expand their gustatory horizons with special soul food menus.
The winner of the Writing Center’s Creative Work contest will also be announced at that dinner. Spilling into the first two days of March, the Tunnel of Oppression interactive art event at the Rodgers Center for the Arts will explore contemporary issues of oppression, privilege, and power. Black History Month 2013 is being presented by A.L.A.N.A., Campus Life, M.P.B., Office of the Provost, Office of Residence Life, Office of Student Involvement, and the Writing Center. Support has also come from Conference & Events, Rodgers Center for the Arts, and Sodexo.