The Black History Month celebration was kicked off Jan. 29 in Creveling Lounge with a celebration of African-American heritage. The event featured speakers from the PCC community, a raffle, and a musical performance from the upcoming â€œHairsprayâ€ production.
The event began with a performance of the Negro National Anthem: Lift Every Voice and Sing, sung by Sandra Collins.
President Mark Rocha and Senior Vice President Robert Bell then addressed the crowd on the significance of Black History Month.
â€œI was sitting with my 80-year old mother [watching the inauguration] and she [burst] into tears. This nation has come a long way. February is when we identify specifically the contributions of African Americans, but we should do that all year,â€ said Bell.
Rocha commented on the good job the organizers did putting it together and the educational opportunities it brought.
â€œI think the program staff and students have put together is amazing. The good thing about Black History month is that itâ€™s a good educational opportunity,â€ said Rocha.
Aaron Nininger, fine arts was glad to see community leaders at the event interfacing with students.
â€œI think itâ€™s really great to see community leaders come out. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s enough interaction between students and community leaders. Thereâ€™s so much we can learn from them and we donâ€™t interface enough with them,â€ said Nininger.
About the performance from the musical Hairspray, Richard Kuller, performing arts instructor and director of the production, explained its relevance to the event.
â€œHow does Hairspray tie into black history month? It takes place in the 1960s. Hairspray is a valentine to all outsiders,â€ said Kuller.
After the performance a raffle was conducted in which the winners received copies of Connie Riceâ€™s book Power Concedes Nothing.
Kelsea Gustin, business, was impressed by the event and the other Black History month events that will take place throughout February.
â€œ[It was a] really nice program and well put together. I am glad to find out about all the events happening for black history month,â€ said Gustin.
Also included was a screening of Susanne Rostockâ€™s documentary Sing Your Song, which documents Harry Belafonteâ€™s contributions toward social justice and civil rights. After the screening there was a round-table discussion on social issues affecting youth.
Ryan Taylor, film, liked the importance focused on Black History month and the racial diversity in the audience.
â€œIts important to celebrate black history because typically at schools they donâ€™t [do] it as much and I think its great PCC was able to celebrate it. Also [itâ€™s good] to be able to see not just blacks in here but a diverse crowd,â€ said Taylor.