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Black History Month Celebration Offers Traveling Exhibit, Films and Discussions to Promote Cultural Exploration

Ferris State UniversityThroughout February, a variety of events offer an opportunity for Ferris State University’s students, faculty and staff to join the Big Rapids community in recognition of Black History Month. Michael Wade, assistant director of Ferris’ Office of Multicultural Student Services, said OMSS has scheduled one film for each week of the celebration, sponsored either by the office, the university’s History department, Black Greek Council member Alpha Phi Alpha or Phi Alpha Theta, the National History Honor Society.

“Black History Month is an opportunity for our campus community members to engage, learn more about and to celebrate the culture,” Wade said. “The many contributions blacks have made and continue to make are too vast to put into only just one month. However, during this month, we encourage all to take time and participate in the scheduled events.”

Ferris alumnus Khalid el-Hakim brings The ’68 Exhibit, a subset of his Black History 101 Mobile Museum collection, to Room 217 of the University Center on Thursday, Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A talk by el-Hakim, the museum’s founder and curator, begins at 11 a.m.

Each Tuesday, during February, a film exploring an aspect of the United States culture, related to the black experience, will be shown. The Black History Month schedule offers details on the cinematic works, which will be shown in various dayparts, typically in Room 135 of FLITE, the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education. On Tuesday, Feb. 20, a showing of the film “I Am Not Your Negro” will begin at 6 p.m. in Room 235 of the Starr Building, followed by a discussion.

The featured discussion of Black History Month will be a Conversation on Race, which will consider the subject of colorism, discrimination based on skin color. That will be offered Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in University Center, Room 203.

The OMSS reminds all interested persons that all Black History Month events are free and open to the public. Anyone who has a disability and would require assistance to attend an event should contact the OMSS at (231) 591-2617 or by email at least 72 hours in advance of the particular session.

PHOTO CAPTION: The Black History 101 Mobile Museum will bring The ’68 Exhibit to Ferris State University Thursday, Feb. 1, for the featured presentation during the campus’ Black History Month celebration. The exhibit will be shown from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with founder and curator Khalid el-Hakim speaking at 11 a.m.