Black History Month Keynote Speaker to Visit Our University

By Edita Bardhi
Opinion Editor

As Black History Month quickly approaches, ESU welcomes students with a Keynote Speaker on Feb. 8.

Taken place in the Niedbala Auditorium in the Science and Technology Center at 7 p.m., students who attend will hear from James Braxton Peterson, director of Africana Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University.

Sponsored by ESU’s Black History Month planning committee, along with help from the Dean of Student Life and the Admissions Office, students will be introduced to a variety of cultures by Peterson.

“We encourage all students to come, not just those who may be black or feel like they can identify with this particular population. We want every student to come and learn about the heritage of African-Americans,” said Lyesha Fleming, program director of Office of Multicultural Affairs.

At the beginning of the speech, a welcoming will be given to students, followed by an introduction to the Keynote Speaker.

Topics discussed in the speech include Hip-Hop culture, and its relevance here during the Trump era. Peterson’ s speech is titled “We the People: Corrective Art and Hip Hop Culture in the Era of Trump.”

Likewise, attendees can learn about the different cultures in a more detailed way. To encourage this, a Question-&-Answer will occur to allow students to express any questions they may have.

On behalf of the committee, Fleming stated, “In the past, we have had different types of socials for students to come.

Programs that enlighten students to teach them about the heritage and the culture of African-Americans.”

She continued, “We choose to do Black History Month because we wanted to be more inclusive of all the cultures that fall underneath the spectrum.

Within black cultures there is a lot of diversity, and the African diasporas is so vast we wanted to make sure we were inclusive of all the cultures that can be considered to some extent, ‘black.’”

As Peterson’ s visit to ESU ends, books written by Peterson will be available for students to buy.

The available copy includes best-seller Hip Hop Headphones: A Scholar’s Critical Playlist.

“We just want students to come out and support the programs and truly learn something from it. That is the only thing that we can truly ask for. For students to be able to learn something that’ s not what they typically learn daily or throughout what they are taught through preschool to high school,” shared Fleming.

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