Monday, February 8, 2016 || By COMMUNITY EDITOR || Updated: 2/10/16
Windows located outside of the Maywood municipal building at 40 Madison St., which were decorated by Washington Dual Language Academy students. | Photo submitted
Students at Washington Dual Language Academy lent their creative impulses to a Black History Month Art Exhibit, which is currently being showcased in display cases in front of 40 Madison St.
“Washington was the only school that allowed blacks in Maywood,” said Dawn Rone, the art exhibit’s coordinator.
“The students depicted segregation, desegregation, Black Lives Matter, Trayvon Martin, Civil Rights leaders and African artwork.”
Rone said the art will be exhibited until March.
Triton College Kicks Off Black History Month
Illinois State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford, far right, stands with (l to r) Richard Brown, Triton College Black Heritage Council member; Triton College President Mary-Rita Moore; and Dr. Amanda Turner, dean of Enrollment Services, following Triton’s Black History Month Kickoff Celebration on Feb. 1.
[By Triton College] Triton College kicked off its month-long celebration of Black History Month with an opening ceremony held on Feb. 1.
Attended by Triton students, faculty and staff and community members, the event strongly reflected Triton’s Black History Month 2016 theme, “We Are Because They Were.”
The annual event featured live music composed by historical African-American musicians, student and staff reflections of black culture and speeches fromTriton College President Mary-Rita Moore and State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford who each credited the achievements of past generations for the rights African-Americans have today.
The event is meant to educate and motivate students and community members to strive for success.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to appreciate the history, culture and contributions that African-Americans have made throughout our history and still has a presence today,” President Moore said.
“As we reflect upon those words, ‘We Are Because They Were,’ it really brings to us many reasons and opportunity to know a little more about, in our rich history, who have come before us in generations from the past and who we can be going forward in the future.”
State Rep. Ford served as the keynote speaker of the event, providing the audience with historical background behind the creation of Black History Month. The nationally recognized month first came about as Negro History Week in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. It wasn’t until 1976 that Negro History Week expanded and was officially recognized by America as Black History Month, he said.
Ford continued, addressing the recent national media coverage of celebrities who have vocally expressed their disdain toward celebrating Black History Month.
“African-American history is for everyone,” he said. “The struggle of African-Americans could not have reached the heights without our brothers and sisters of every race… This is a time for us all to be reenergized and know that America has a promise that we all must fight for and that we must not let up… We are free a little more today because of (those who have come before us who) fought for justice.”
The following are more Black History Month festivities planned at Triton College. These events are free and open to the general public:
National African-American Read-In, Noon to 1 p.m., Library (A Building), Room A-312
Community members are welcome to attend as Triton College celebrates African-American authors and poets with its annual National African-American Read-In. Those who attend are invited to read aloud excerpts from an African-American author of their choice or recite their own written prose. Books will be provided. The African-American Read-In is sponsored nationally by the Black Caucus of the National Council for Teachers of English (NCTE) and endorsed by the International Reading Association and is part of Triton College’s recognition of Black History Month.
Triton College Black History Month Artist Explosion and Small Business Expo,2 to 4 p.m., Student Center Cafeteria
Join Triton College’s Black Heritage Council as they conclude their Black History Month festivities with an artist showcase and small business expo. The small business expo will showcase products and services of local minority-owned businesses, while serving as a forum to educate, inspire and expose Triton students and the surrounding non-student community to cultural resources available in the area. Starting at 3 p.m., actress Sonita L. Surratt will present a historical drama about the first U.S. published activist poet of African descent, Phillis Wheatley; followed by a performance from the Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. step team.
For more information, contact Richard Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org. VFP