Events to celebrate African-American Heritage Month


Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

In Wednesday’s edition of The Daily Eastern News, in the article “Events to celebrate Heritage Month,” the amount of donations was misrepresented. Some departments donated to the Heritage Month despite university-wide budget cuts.

The News regrets the error.

African-American Heritage Month begins Sunday with a month full of events for the 28 days.

Yolanda Williams, a Gateway adviser, said the theme for the month is “Building a Movement: Digging back… Diggin’ Black!”

She said each year a committee comes up with a theme, which gets its elements from whatever is being talked about among African-American students on campus and nationally.

Williams said this year many students were talking about what was happening in Ferguson and comparing the protests to the riots of the ‘60s, which is where the theme comes from.

She said the theme is building upon a movement that has been going on since that era and having a love and appreciation for the black culture.

“The protests are very familiar of the ‘60s and ‘70s,” Williams said.

Williams said one of the hardest aspects in particular about putting together the month this year was fundraising because of budget cuts.

She said the month has taken a decent cut in funds, but so have many other departments. Normally she asks if the departments want to assist in any way with the month, and if not, Williams might ask for a donation, which this year she could not get.

“There was no hard feelings; I totally understood,” Williams said.

Despite some cuts financially, Williams said she is really happy with what is in store for students during the month, such as a poetry performance by an African-American transgender male, J Mase III, at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at 7th Street Underground.

Williams said she had been trying to incorporate LGBT events for three years and was very glad when EIU Pride and University Board Cultural Arts came through sponsoring him.

One event called “Black Taboo: Thinking Outside the ‘Black’ Box,” which deals with breaking the stereotype of African-Americans, will take place at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 in Lumpkin Auditorium. She said African-Americans will challenge some of the perceived “norms” such as agnostic, moderately political, or even those who claim to be geeks or nerds.

Williams said the month will even see a return of DJ Bandcamp, who was the DJ for the National Pan-Hellenic Council step show last semester, and more.

“It’s going to be exciting; it’s going to be a good month,” Williams said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].