BSU & NTC Celebrate Black History Month
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are all about inclusion, and that’s why they’ve decided to pull out all the stops for Black History Month.
“February is Black History Month, and we want to celebrate the individual contributes to American society,” says Dr. Brian Xiong, the BSU/NTC Center For Diversity and Inclusion coordinator.
“To celebrate Black History Month, we decided to do a piece called ‘A Movement For Rosa’ which celebrated Rosa Parks and her struggles and triumphs with the civil rights movement,” says Scott Guidry, BSU Wind Ensemble conductor.
The BSU Wind Ensemble performed a concert on Sunday to celebrate both Black History Month and President’s Day. The pieces featured odes to Abraham Lincoln and America. There was a medley of music written by Duke Ellington.
Guidry says, “It is the first time this wind ensemble has had a concert, in my memory, this early in the semester so we had to work rather quickly and rather hard, but the students did wonderful.”
Fast forward to today when Dr. Xiong gave a presentation about understanding the past looking forward to the future.
“Knowing what happened in this history about black culture and black history in this country and understanding exactly what happened to them so that way we can respect the future and that we need to provide a diverse and inclusive, as well as [an equitable] society for our diverse community,” says Xiong.
Today’s presentation at NTC focused on the many first in the African-American community. They looked at people like Shirley Chisholm and Barack Obama. BSU and NTC says it’s important for students to learn about different cultures because you never know who in the world you might meet.
“When you graduate from college, you get out there in the real world, you will work with people from different cultures. You will work with people who don’t look like you. You learn so much more about society, about things that relate to your life when you get to know people who are not from the same category that you’re from,” says Xiong.
Tomorrow ,there will be another presentation in the Hobson Memorial Union at BSU that will go more in-depth about black history. It starts at 1 in the afternoon.
“Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about leaders who have sacrificed their life, as well as sacrificed their time, energy, their knowledge, their skills to make sure that the future will be a better place for the younger generations,” says Xiong.
BSU will also have two more Black History Month events next week. There will be a presentation by Dr. Jason Sole, a drug dealer turned university professor, called “From Prison to PHD” on the February 20th. It starts at 6 at night in BSU’s Beaux Arts Ballroom.
The month will end with another presentation February 22nd called “Common Bonds For A Greater Minnesota.” It starts at 6 at night in Room 103 of BSU’s American Indian Resource Center. All the events are open to the public.
BSU will also be celebrating the Chinese New Year this Friday with a special party in the American Indian Resource Center gathering room at BSU. It starts at 5 at night.