Wednesday, January 18, 2006
MLK events kick off African-American History Month
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
Oakland University marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day with events to pay tribute to his legacy and also opened the month-and-a-half long African-American Celebration at OU.
The Association of Black Students held its annual silent march on campus in memory of King. Students joined with alumni to march from the ABS offices in Vandenberg Hall to the Oakland Center.
“We want the former students to link up with the students of today in order to build a righteous future,” said Eliyah Sankofa, vice president of ABS.
One of the alumni at the march, Anthony Thorton, is president of the Oakland University’s Black Alumni Chapter.
“When I was here, I was very active in the Association of Black Students,” Thorton said. “I wanted to be supportive of the students who are currently here and support Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream.”
After the march, the Center for Multicultural Initiatives, Office of the Provost, Dean of Students Office and the College of Arts and Sciences presented “An Afternoon with Spike Lee.” Actor, director and producer Lee spoke to the crowded Oakland Center Banquet Rooms about how racial divides still exist and it is up to the citizens of the United States to educate each other on black history and move forward together.
Many of the audience members also made their way down to the Fireside Lounge for the official opening to OU’s African-American Celebration, “The African-American Journey: Liberation Through Organization.”
“All too often we failed to realize that we are here because someone else carried us to this point,” said Dean of Students Glenn McIntosh, who spoke during the opening ceremony and emphasized the importance to celebrating African-American history and completing King’s dream.
Several events are planned throughout the celebration, including games, a career fair, lectures and exhibits, to help students recognize and appreciate African-American history.
“Make a concerted effort to go to most of the events, and when you go, take a friend,” McIntosh said.
During the opening ceremonies, the Center for Multicultural Initiatives announced a contest for the celebration. The contest is to come up with the theme for the 2007 celebration following the theme for the national celebration, “From Slavery to Freedom.” The winner will receive $150 in SpiritCash.
To enter, students must write a short paragraph about how their theme ties into the national theme and include the entry form available from the CMI Office. Entries are due to the CMI Office by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The winner will be announced during this year’s closing ceremonies on Thursday, Feb. 23, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Oakland Center Fireside Lounge.
The African-American Celebration continues until Thursday, Feb. 23. Some events will be held outside the official African-American Celebration schedule, including the annual Keeper of the Dream Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 8, with keynote speaker Andrew Young, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
For more information on African-American Celebration events, contact the Center for Student Activities at (248) 370-2400 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Center for Multicultural Initiatives at (248) 370-4404.
African-American Celebration Schedule:
Tuesday, Jan. 24
- Student Life Lecture Board presents James Earl Jones, 7 p.m., Meadow Brook Theatre
Wednesday, Jan. 25
- OU Public School Administration/Nsoroma Institute “Thiosane Live!” 12:30-1:30 p.m., Oakland Center Banquet Room B
Thursday, Jan. 26
- Career Services Diversity Career Fair, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Oakland Center Banquet Rooms
- Golden Key International Honour Society “Trivia Game Show: African-American Firsts,” Noon-1 p.m., Oakland Center Fireside Lounge
Monday, Jan. 30
- ABS Salute to the Student Non-Violence Coordinating Committee, Noon-4 p.m., Oakland Center Exhibit Lounge
Tuesday, Jan. 31
- Department of Music, Theatre and Dance “Master Class in Congolese Drumming and Dance,” 7-9 p.m., Varner Hall Room 109
Thursday, Feb. 2
- Sigma Gamma Rho presents the “Detroit Institute of Art - Journey through African-American Art,” 5:30 p.m., Oakland Center Oakland Room
Saturday, Feb. 4
- Department of Music, Theatre and Dance presents “Lettie Alston and Friends: African-American Influence in Modern Music,” 8 p.m., Varner Recital Hall
Tuesday, Feb. 7
- Sigma Gamma Rho “Our Pillars,” Noon-1:30 p.m., Oakland Center Exhibit Lounge
- SPB “Step Afrika!” 7 p.m., Varner Recital Hall
Wednesday, Feb. 8
- Department of Music, Theatre and Dance presents Jamaican-British Pianist with Music by Africa and the African Diaspora, 8 p.m., Varner Recital Hall
Thursday, Feb. 9
- OUAA and FANS “From the Classroom to the Boardroom,” a presentation by George Jackson Jr., SEHS ’75, 5:30 p.m., Oakland Center Gold Rooms
Thursday- Saturday, Feb. 9-11
- Oakland University Diverse Student Leader Weekend, Oakland Center
Friday, Feb. 10
- Taste of Africa Gala, 4-7 p.m., Oakland Center Banquet Rooms
Monday, Feb. 13
- ABS “Hop on the Black Starline - A Tribute to Marcus Garvey,” (Part I) Noon-1 p.m., Oakland Center Gold Rooms, (Part II) 7 p.m., Oakland Center Gold Rooms
Tuesday, Feb. 14
- Center for Student Activities Meet, Greet and Appreciate OU Greeks Reception, Noon-1 p.m., Oakland Center Fireside Lounge
Wednesday, Feb. 15
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority “Eyes on the Prize,” a civil rights documentary, 6:30 p.m., Oakland Center Oakland Room
Thursday, Feb. 16
- Phi Alpha Theta “Martin Luther King’s Unfinished Agenda,” a Lecture by Michael Honey, 7 p.m., Oakland Center Gold Rooms
Monday, Feb. 20
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority George Washington Carver Display, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Oakland Center Exhibit Lounge
Tuesday, Feb. 21
- “It’s Not a Game! ABS Black History Month Game Show,” Noon-1 p.m., Oakland Center Fireside Lounge
- Zeta Sigma Chi Sorority “Experiencing the Greatness of African-American Women,” 6:30 p.m., Oakland Center Rooms 128-130
Wednesday, Feb. 22
- Circle of Sisterhood “African-American Women - The Journey and Our Struggles,” 6-8 p.m., Oakland Center Gold Room C
Thursday, Feb. 23
- African-American Celebration Closing Ceremony, Noon-1 p.m., Oakland Center Fireside Lounge
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority “Mock Wedding - Our Egyptian Culture,” 6 p.m., Oakland Center Gold Rooms
Tuesday, March 7
- Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority “Angry Black Woman?” Noon-1:30 p.m., Oakland Center Lake Superior Room A
- Department of History/American Studies Program presents “The First Emancipator,” 7 p.m., Oakland Center Oakland Room
Wednesday, March 8
- Keeper of the Dream Scholarship Awards Banquet with keynote speaker Andrew Young, 6:30-9 p.m., Shotwell-Gustafson Pavilion
Tuesday, March 14
- ABS “Queen Sista – Recognizing Black Sistas in Organizations,” 7 p.m., Recreation Center Pioneer Room