Black History Month teaches campus about cultural, ethnic history

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T-Bow Gonzales and Deirdre Lacour dance and play the shekere gourd during the African Festival last year.  File

T-Bow Gonzales and Deirdre Lacour dance and play the shekere gourd during the African Festival last year. File

February events include speakers, performers, films and an African festival.

By Cynthia M. Herrera

cherrera151@student.alamo.edu

Black History Month kicks off with an opening ceremony with President Robert Vela 11 a.m.-12:05 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin Student Center.

Tommy Calvert, Bexar Country commissioner, 4th Precinct, will discuss politics Feb. 9 in the Craft Room of Loftin.

Some of the information panels will touch on the topics of police force and opportunities for minorities in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math education.)

The first documentary, “They had a Dream Too,” is 9:25-10:30 a.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m. Feb. 5 in the Fiesta Room of Loftin.

The film started as an 11th- and 12th-grade curriculum project produced by the Texas Young Lawyers Association in 2009-2010.

The 28-minute documentary highlights interviews of young adults who were a part of the change during the civil rights movements in the 1950s and ’60s.

The movie “I Am Ali” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 in the mall.

Based on Muhammad Ali’s personal audio journals and interviews from family and friends, the video tells the legend’s life story. The film was released in November 2014.

The documentary “Quilt Makers of Gee’s Bends” will show from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 23 in the performance area, fourth floor of Moody Learning Center.

The plot film revolves around artists who quilted and lived in Boykin, Alabama, also known as Gee’s Bend.

The quilters are descendants of slaves who have passed down their talents from at least six generations.

The quilts have been dated back to the 1930s; however, the quilting tradition goes back to the 1800s, according to Smithsonian.com.

For the African Festival on Feb. 26, the Fiesta Room of Loftin will transform into an African village where merchants will sell items from Africa. For example, last year’s best-sellers were drums similar to those played by percussionist T-Bow Gonzales. He will perform and teach again this year with Deirdre Lacour, assistant dance director for Urban-15.

Authentic African food samples will be available, said Barbara Knotts, director of creative multimedia at this college.

Black History Month first started in February 1926 by historian and author, Dr. Carter G. Woodson. It originally was only a week and named Negro History Week, according to the Library of Congress website. Woodson decided the event would be in February, the month of Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass’s birthdays, key figures in African American history. In 1986 Congress extended the observation to the full month of February. It underwent several name changes until 1996 when Senate Resolution 229 declared it Black History Month.

All the events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Knotts at 210-486-0593.

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