RCC celebrates Black History Month with hardwork

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By Fryda Gonzales

Student Rebecca Moon, left, gives a presentation during Dr. Kristi Woods’ African American History class. (Chris Ullyott)

By Fryda Gonzales

Riverside City College students kicked off the spring semester by celebrating Black History Month.

Living the legacy of Carter Godwin Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” a group of students formed the RCC Black History Month Committee.

The members met regularly since December to ensure acknowledgment of the contributions and role of Black Americans.

“A goal for me personally is to have some sort of event that acknowledged it was Black History Month,” said Jameelah Woodard, Multi-Cultural advisory council director. “Because of the school schedule, and just finishing intersession it is hard to get students active and involved.”

The events included a lecture connecting historical and modern day slavery, a soul food giveaway and the UCR Nigerian Dance Team performed.

Daniel Walker, guest speaker from San Bernardino Valley College, gave a lecture comparing today’s urban beatboxing to historical drumbeats and body tapping used by slaves as a form of communication.

“I was so happy. I thought he did a great job. The students were very receptive,” said Simar Lomeli, Student Activities assistant and RCC alumni.

Lomeli was responsible for coordinating Walker’s lecture and felt that the members of the committee worked hard during the school break.

However, many of the students who attended the Black History Month events were unhappy with the turnout.

Although fliers were posted, student Damian Liggins felt the committee could have done more to make the campus aware of the festivities.

“I don’t know if they got the word out adequately, but I thought we were the only ones there. Did they advertise it?” Liggins said.

In addition, some students were concerned with the lack of African American representation and activities on campus.

“Can the school put out more things for the black people like plays or gospel plays. More cultural expression of the African American community,” said student Paul Jean Turney.

The committee was also disappointed for the lack of student participation during the celebrations.

Woodard stated this was her first time actively participating and organizing, but it was a great learning experience and will apply it to next year’s festivities.

“One of the things I would do is to have more events. I think that just one week wasn’t sufficient at all specially during the first two weeks when everyone is stressing,” Woodard said.

Business instructor Don Wilcoxson would like to see a greater higher contribution by all faculty and staff members.

He believes their participation in school activities is essential to promote cultural awareness and increase student involvement.

“I think that everyone, all faculty no matter what color you are should be involved in every activity that relates to the student on this campus,” Wilcoxson said.

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