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Discussion, Celebrations Highlight Black History Month Celebration on Ferris' Campus

Lawrence RossA variety of events are scheduled during February on the Ferris State University campus, as the public is welcomed to join students, faculty and staff in celebrating Black History Month, to recognize the significant achievements made by the African-American community that impact all aspects of American society. Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, has been celebrated, annually, on the Ferris campus since February 1976.

The feature film being presented is “The Great Debaters,” which begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, in room 202A of the University Center. The movie is based on the inspiring story of the formation of a debate team at the historically-black Wiley College, in Texas, in 1935, whose achievements culminated in reaching the national final against Harvard University. A discussion will follow the film.

Author and lecturer Lawrence Ross will reflect on the history of campus racism, how to react to such incidents and methods to prevent its occurrence in his lecture, on Thursday, Feb. 9. His presentation, set to begin at 6 p.m. in room 120 of the Interdisciplinary Resource Center is framed by his book, “Blackballed: the Black and White Politics of Race on America’s Campuses,” which was published in February 2016.

The highlighted student event for Black History Month is the Image Awards, which will be hosted from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in Williams Auditorium on Saturday, Feb. 11. The event is supported by the Student Activity Fund, as allocated by the Finance Division of Student Government, and is sponsored by Black Leaders Aspiring of Critical Knowledge, the Office of Multicultural Student Services and the Diversity and Inclusion Office.

“This is an annual awards ceremony that was created to highlight minority student excellence, supportive members of the university’s faculty and staff, and our successful minority student organizations,” OMSS Assistant Director Michael Wade said. “It is a formal event, with student performances and much more.”

The final event on the celebration schedule is set for Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Rankin Atrium of the UC, with the Black History Month Student Tribute. This year’s theme is “From Struggle to Progress?” and will be a dynamic showcase of African-American excellence, where Ferris students will pay homage to trailblazers, from the 1960s to the present day.

All events in the university’s Black History Month Celebration schedule are free and open to the public. The OMSS welcomes requests for assistance from those with disabilities, asking that they email their office or call (231) 591-2617 at least 72 hours in advance.

PHOTO CAPTION: Author and lecturer Lawrence Ross will speak on Thursday, Feb. 9, as part of Ferris State University’s Black History Month Celebration. Ross’ presentation will begin at 6 p.m. in IRC 120.