Founded as a week dedicated to exploring the contributions of blacks in America, black history month now represents an opportunity to celebrate all aspects of the culture. But this year, many black student groups have decided to let the University handle this month”s program of events.

LSA junior Jarvis Williams, treasurer of the Black Student Union, said a widespread effort to educate people about African history is imperative.

“The history of Africans has been hidden, and frankly, a lot of it has been taught incorrectly. So to have a month dedicated to sharing just a slice of our history is so important and so special,” he said.

University-affiliated groups like Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs and the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives have already organized a series of lectures and films commemorating the month.

But the BSU is not going to participate in all campus-wide events honoring Black History Month, said RC junior Monique Luse, vice-speaker of the Black Student Union.

“To me, black history month means different things at different times. While I”m happy to have my culture, identity, and politics addressed for one month out of the year, BSU promotes black culture all year “round,” Luse said.

Williams agreed, saying the organization celebrates black history every month.

Luse hopes the sample of black heritage presented during the month leads to a more consistent effort to learn about black culture among students.

“The challenge is to get people to discuss black issues during the rest of the year,” Luse said.

This month”s events include an extended dialogue on slavery reparations, more events honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and a cultural show sponsored by Power Moves, an African American performance group.

As the University”s first all-encompassing black culture show, the event will span multiple areas of African and Afro-American culture, Luse said.

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