Niagara University held several events this February in celebration of Black History Month. Students and faculty came together in order to ensure that the month was filled with festive and educational events.

The schedule was developed by Niagara University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs.

On Feb. 8, students gathered inside the Gallagher Center’s Multi-Purpose Room to discuss the topic of black hair and beauty.

Students Ferrah Staley and Gabrielle Jackson spoke about their experiences when dealing with their own hair and how they have learned to accept and love their natural curl pattern.

“It looks nice and pretty when I’m walking by (you),” Jackson said. “But you best believe I spent an hour trying to get that curly piece in the right place; otherwise, I don’t feel like myself.”

Several individuals had questions and comments regarding how black women take care of their hair. Also, clips from the movie Good Hair were screened. Good Hair is a documentary created by actor/comedian Chris Rock that explores hair in the African-American community.

Another event, “The Legacy of Black Culture & Leaders: Spoken Word Presentations,” was held inside the Gallagher Center on Feb. 15. Graduate assistant Isaac De Los Santos, curated the event.

“I just wanted my adaptation to be on how black women and men are perceived in the media,” De Los Santos said before sharing his own presentation.

After De Los Santos spoke, Niagara University students shared their presentations and poems for the audience.

First place went to Jackson who performed her spoken word poem, “Times are Changing.”

“I feel like sometimes I have to carry the light,” Jackson, an NU sophomore, read. “To show people pro-black does not mean anti- white.”

A separate event that focused on interracial love took place inside Dunleavy Hall on Feb. 22. The South Park episode, “Cartman Finds Love,” was screened and a Q-and-A session was held afterward. Many students in attendance were part of a race and ethnicity class taught by Dr. Todd Schoepflin, associate professor of sociology.

The original concept of Black History Month was thought of by historian Carter G. Woodson, the man who originally invented Negro History Week. Woodson wanted to celebrate the achievement of black individuals who made valuable contributions to society. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Article by junior communication studies major Maegan Jones.

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