Mason Celebrates Black History Month


By Ashley Stewart, Staff Writer 

This February is Black History Month — the time every year when people across the country celebrate the rich history and culture of African-Americans.

The U.S. and the many freedoms we enjoy as Americans would not exist were it not for the enormous sacrifices made by African-Americans who insisted that the United States live up to its founding principles,” said Dr. LaNitra Berger, whose research at Mason focuses on modern art in the African diaspora.

Black History Month allows for a celebration of the countless contributions of African-Americans to society. Mason is no exception, with a lineup of events and activities for the month from faculty, staff, and students alike.

Mason’s own Dr. Angela Hattery and Dr. Earl Smith will give a presentation about the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community on Feb. 13 in the MIX at Fenwick Library.

The following week, on Feb. 19, Mason will host the 2018 Sojourner Truth Lecture with Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin. Martin’s death made headlines and drew national outrage when he was fatally shot by George Zimmerman on Feb. 26, 2012.

Mason’s Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME) will also host several events in honor of Black History Month.

On Feb. 12, ODIME will host the “Ain’t I a Feminist” lecture by Dr. Michelle Allen in the Johnson Center. They will also organize a “Black Excellence Gala” in Dewberry Hall on Feb. 23. The event is being billed by ODIME as “an evening of mystery, culture, and celebration.”

Along with ODIME, there are several student organizations that will host events this month. The Delta Sigma Theta sorority will host an “In Livin’ Color: A Celebration of Black Theater, Film, and Arts” on Feb. 15 in the Hub ballroom. Roosevelt at Mason will a host “Technicolor Was Never Meant to Be So White: Racial Diversity in Film” on Feb. 27 in the Johnson Center.

“We should never relegate our study of black history to the month of February,” added Dr. Berger. Even though she enjoys Black History Month activities and events, she suggested that people should “analyze and criticize our national narratives on a daily basis so that we develop a more complex understanding of the United States and its history.”

Photo Courtesy of ODIME