Southeast Celebrating Black History Month in February

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Southeast Missouri State University is celebrating Black History Month in February with a movie night and a presentation on the early years of African slavery in the Americas.

On Feb. 13, the movie, “I Am Not Your Negro (2017)” will be shown at 6 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium of Dempster Hall. The Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity is hosting the event for Southeast faculty, staff and students, and community members. The documentary by Raoul Peck is based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, “Remember This House.” The movie is rated PG-13. The documentary runs one hour and 33 minutes. For more information, contact Blessy Joseph at (573) 651-2626 or

Black History Month events will continue at Southeast on Feb. 28 with a presentation titled, “Hispaniola: The Early Years of African Slavery in the Americas.” During this dialogue, Dr. Lissette Acosta Corniel, Southeast assistant professor of history, will present information about free and enslaved blacks in 16th century Santo Domingo—the initial port of entry for the Transatlantic Slave Trade—on the island of Hispaniola. Presently, this is the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The presence of blacks in the Americas during the European invasion dates as early as 1492, in Christopher Columbus’ first voyage. Subsequently, free blacks arrived to explore, and enslaved blacks were brought to be exploited. This presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the University Center Indian Room.

“At Southeast, we are proud to celebrate Black History Month,” said Sonia Rucker, assistant to the president for equity and diversity and dean of students. “We hope these activities involve and educate our students, faculty, staff and community members.  We invite everyone to attend and help us celebrate the many achievements of black Americans.

Black History Month was first introduced as “Negro History Week” in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, whose goal was to focus attention on the many contributions to American history that have been made by black people. At that time, “Negro History Week” was the second week of February, chosen by Woodson because it marks the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men who did much to influence black Americans.  In 1976, during the U.S. Bicentennial, the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History expanded Woodson’s week into what is now known as Black History Month.

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