The Office of Multicultural Enrichment and the Black Students’ Association is conducting its 15th annual Black History Production for Black History Month, but this year the organizations decided to do something other than a play.
Each year, OME and BSA perform a play to honor black history. This year, however, Byron Martin, director of Multicultural Enrichment, said the production is not a play, but a variety show that will display black culture to students.
“It’s a black history experience,” Martin said.
He said the free show on March 1 will feature performances of songs, poetry and dances by students. Martin said the show also includes performances by the dance groups SHADES, Sophisticats and Sanctify.
Guest speakers Clifford Florence, from New York, and Bruce Johnson, from Georgia, will speak about what it was like to be a black student on campus when they went to ACU.
BSA will have a table with more information about Black culture set up in the Campus Center every day of the week leading up to the show, covering topics from the history of black hair to notable figures in black history.
J Sheppard, senior information technology major from Oklahoma City, Okla., and vice president of BSA, said the organization will be showing the movie “Twelve Years a Slave” on Feb. 27 in Cullen Auditorium. A talkback session will take place after the movie.
“It’s not just a movie but a true experience where you get to learn more,” Sheppard said.
T’Neise Ragland, president of BSA, said when deciding on what production to do this year the officers wanted to create an experience for more than just the African American students.
“It’s really trying to reach everyone,” Ragland said. “Everyone can learn something new about the culture.”
Martin said he encourages students to come to the events and production.
“We call it Black History Month but it’s really everybody’s history because everybody has a part in it,” Martin said.
The purpose of the show, Martin said, is to answer the question of what black history means on the ACU campus.
“It’s something that will hopefully carry students to a better understanding of not only our campus but the history of our campus and the future as well,” Martin said.