UAA celebrates diversity with movie showings for Black History Month

During the month of February, Concert Board and Black Student Union have planned a series of events for Black History Month. For the first three Wednesdays of February, there will be movie showings to educate students, faculty and the general public on black history.

“I think it’s important to celebrate Black History Month and diversity at UAA because our university and our community is diverse. By celebrating other’s cultures we welcome them and invite them to be a part of the community at UAA,” Kelly Ireland, double majoring in biological sciences and journalism and chair of Concert Board, as well as the former executive editor of The Northern Light, said. “Now more than ever we need to be inclusionary and show others that they are accepted. One of the best things about UAA is the diversity of students we have here. Anchorage is also an incredibly diverse city, and we should be celebrating that.”

One of the themes for movies that are being presented has to do with conflict and confusion within the black community.

“As for the films that we decided to advertise, we felt as though it touched on some of the issues that African Americans often have within our own community and to hopefully educate and utilize the information given off from these films to learn from them,” Nyariak Kuany, accounting major and treasurer of the Black Student Union said.

Movies can have a huge impact on the way individuals interpret information. Although there are several books and information online about black history, watching actual footage can give a better understanding of certain situations.

“The movies are an insight of what’s going on in our culture and its good to have because it’s on film, even though we have written documents and pictures, it’s always good to be able to visualize,” Jennifer Spencer, majoring in social work said.

These movies are being shown in hopes to expose important facts in our history to improve the future by having a mutual understanding of cultures.

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“Personally I feel students on campus as well as those within the anchorage community would be able to experience and get a taste of black culture distributed around the country and hopefully help improve overall student engagement on campus by watching and attending the events we have planned in celebration of this month,” Kuany said.

Showing these films is not only celebrating Black History Month, but also furthering the community’s education on our own history. Education is key for obtaining a better understanding of one another.

“One quote I always look back to is by Malcolm X and he says, ‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs for those who prepare for it today,’ and I just see that as an inspirational quote because you educate yourself about what happened and watch these movies and get educated about studies that people have done,” Spencer said. “It’s very important for you to go to all or most of the films, do your research after the films and always give an ear to what other people have to say.”

The movie events are free for students and the general public. Along with the movie showings throughout the month, there will also be guest speaker Shaun King, a panel discussion on ‘The Crisis in Black Education,’ a soul food potluck and a spoken word event. Look out for these events and celebrate Black History Month and come together as a community.

Feb. 1 — Bound: Africans vs. African Americans (Wendy Williamson Auditorium)

Feb. 8 — Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap (Wendy Williamson Auditorium)

Feb. 15 — The Black Friday (UAA Planetarium)