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Black History Month wraps up at Western

Black History Month wraps up at Missouri Western with The Black Success Panel on March 1.

Black History Month is an annual celebration during the month of February and has been key in highlighting the achievements by black Americans and a time to recognize the central role of black Americans in United States history.

Latoya Fitzpatrick, director of Center for Multicultural Education, emphasizes the importance of Black History Month.

“Students are here to receive an education, and some of that education means learning about diverse cultures,” Fitzpatrick said. “If you don’t learn now, you may not know how to interact with people who are different from you down the line. Students that attended Culture Shock received diversity training while they were hypnotized, an interesting twist.”

Culture Shock attendees not only had the opportunity to get out and enjoy the company of their fellow students, they also had the opportunity to get hypnotized to think and act like members of other races, cultures and genders.

Paul Granberry III is Vice President of the Black Student Union and is a member of Gentlemen of Color, an organization on campus. Granberry recently attended the National Prayer Breakfast, Western’s first student to do so, and is a great example of the many outstanding achievements made by black Americans.

“I believe that Black History Month is important so we can remember the ancestors that paved the way for us today,” Granberry said. “It is important to Missouri Western students because – believe it or not – African-Americans have always played an essential role in industrialization in the world. For example: Marc Hannah invented 3-D graphic technology used in films, Sarah Boone invented the ironing board, Garrett Morgan invented the traffic light and Richard Spikes invented the automatic gearshift used in modern-day vehicles.”

Granberry spoke of how Black Love was an event that was highly attended and very well received by its attendees. Nearly 50 Western students showed up and enjoyed a candlelit dinner, chocolate covered strawberries and raffles for gift baskets. Powerful, influential quotes and poems by black Americans provided the entertainment for the evening.

Black History Month at Western was put on by the Center for Multicultural Education, as well as multiple organizations on campus. Events such as Culture Shock, the Charles Drew Blood Drive, the Soul Food Lunch, Black Love and the Black Archives Tour were held. The final event will be the Black Success Panel on March 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Spratt 203. This event will highlight what it takes to be successful, as told by black professionals, students and alumni.

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