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Black History Month Program Advocates for HBCUs

Senior Makayla Prosise performs at last year’s Black History Month Program. Prosise sang “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James.

Textbooks and documentaries are largely known as the main sources to learn history. However, the Black History Month Program uses music, poems, dances, and live speakers to entertain and teach the audience. This year the program will be focused on showing the past importance and modern-day relevance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Each year, the program has a different theme which allows for the program to inform the audience of a plethora of African American history, while remaining on a specific topic throughout the event. Historically Black Colleges and Universities will be the focus of the seventh annual Black History Program sponsored by the SADD and Cultural Awareness Club.

“This year’s theme is HBCUs Matter. Their performance or participation needs to be focused around Historically Black Colleges and Universities and their significance in the African American Culture and History,” SADD Club Advisor and Cultural Awareness Club Sponsor Takisha Ogunyemi said.

The new theme also allows for new elements to be added to enhance the show, including a live band and the opportunity for an increase of outside participants. These guests will mainly be advocating for the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, but some will actually be performing as well.

“We will have more outside participants that have graduated from a HBCU speak about their experiences and a couple of performances by Fraternity and Sorority members,” Ogunyemi said.

Another focus of the program will be Bennett College, which is an HBCU that is currently fighting for accreditation. The college faces losing accreditation due to financial setbacks, however, these setbacks could be solved through donations and an increase of awareness to the college’s situation.

“Bennett College is one of only two all girls HBCUs which is currently in financial distress and may lose their accreditation due to this [issue]. Out of the fifteen points needed to meet accreditation, Bennett College did not meet one- ‘Cash on Hand.’ Due to not meeting this one requirement, they may lose their accreditation and current graduating students will not receive an accredited degree. We will continue to bring awareness to this issue with this year’s t-shirt design,” Ogunyemi said.

The annual Black History Month Program will take place on February 22nd during sixth block. An in-house field trip form will be required as a ticket to enter the program. These forms will be released a week before the program.

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