Organizations on campus come together

In honor of African Heritage Month many of St. John’s University’s clubs and organizations have come together to celebrate the African culture.

The month kicked off with “Spin a Soft Black Song” on Feb. 3. The program was designed to educate children from the local schools about African culture. The children were entertained by poetry and story telling.

One of the main events for the month, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Dinner, will take place on Feb. 5 at Marillac Terrace from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“It is an incredible program and everything has gone according to plan,” Tim McClain, Campus Activities Advisor said. “I have gotten a lot of support from everyone involved.”

“Over 100 people have RSVP’d and it should be an incredible event,” senior Arlette Blake said.

The dinner will host guest speaker Chuck D from Public Enemy who will be speaking on “Rap, Race and Reality.”

“He is going to bring out a lot of people,” senior Aaron Fisher said.

Another event for the month, “Malcolm X Lives,” will take place on Feb. 12 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Little Theatre. The program is a one man show performed by Dennis Rahim Watson, and portrays the life, ideas, concerns and missions of Malcolm X.

A panel discussion on Black Radicalism will also take place on Feb. 6.

“From an academic standpoint this is a very important aspect of the month,” McClain said. “It is the intellectual meat of the whole month.”

The panel will include William Sales of Seton Hall University, Lez Edmond and McClain of St. John’s University, representatives of the NAACP, the Black Radical Congress, amongst others.

The panel will discuss the political, social, economic and psychological issues from Black Nationalism to Marxism. The panel will also discuss the historical context of the Black Power Movement and the significance of Black Radicalism.

On Feb. 8 there will be a trip to The Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture. Those that are interested will have the opportunity to visit the museum and learn about black culture.

The 13th Annual Black and White Ball will be on Feb. 22 at the Terrace on the Park from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. The event is $55 per person and $100 per couple.

Awards will be presented to students, staff, and administration for their dedication to students of Pan-African decent.

“The event should go really great,” Stanyell Bruce of Campus Activities said. “We should have more people showing up this year.”

Amira Baraka has been invited to speak on Feb. 26 in Council Hall from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Baraka will address the student body on Black Radicalism and his experiences.

Baraka is a recipient of the Rockefeller Award for Drama and the Poet Laureate of New Jersey.

African Heritage Month ends with a lecture by Mark Mathabane called “Surviving Apartheid and Discovering the Importance of Education.” Mathabane is the author of Kaffir Boy, African Women, Miriam’s Song, and Love in Black and White.

During the lecture Mathabane will speak about the horrors of growing up in apartheid Africa and his experiences during this time.