Thursday night at the library was not your average scene. Instead of seeing students studiously engaged in books or binders, you walked into an atmosphere of friendly conversations, good music and even better company.
On Feb. 3, the Opening Reception for Black History Month, sponsored by the Black History Month Committee, the Dean of Students, the Dean of Becton College and the College of Florham Library, was held in the Orangerie.
“There are more people here than I anticipated,” said Dean of Students Brian Mauro. “We were scared people wouldn’t show up!”
The month-long celebration has been upheld by FDU students and staff annually, and this year is expected to be as memorable, if not more memorable, than ever before. Filled with several events ranging from displays and screenings to original, student-inspired productions, the month is anticipated to be a very successful one.
“Black History is indeed American History and we should celebrate, not separate,” said Antoinette Miles, a junior at FDU and a member of the Black History Month Committee.
In an attempt to fulfill this, several students, faculty and staff have worked to prepare over a dozen events throughout February in celebration of Black History.
The College at Florham Library is home to a Black History Month exhibition of African-American “Book-Women.”
The exhibition displays various books and photo-portraits of well known women that have contributed significantly to what we know as “Black History.”
Examples of such women are Denise Jackson, an active participant in the “Freedom Summer” of 1964, and Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist best known for her book “The Color Purple.”
This has been on display in the library since the beginning of February and will remain throughout the month.
On Feb. 6 and 7, a two-part screening of “Brick City,” a 2008 Sundance Channel documentary, focused on the lives of Newark citizens and their attempts in reviving their city from its violent history.
The series will be followed on Feb. 10 by an event called “Brick City: Newark’s New Reality Show?”
February will also be filled with various events that provide students with the opportunity to discuss their views on certain issues that stress our communities in regards to Black History. One such event was the Mental Health Panel, held on Feb. 8 in Hennessy Hall.
This panel was scheduled to discuss “Masculinity and Femininity: Gender Roles in the African American Community.”
On Feb. 14 there will be an open mic night held in The Pub. This event will feature an FDU alumnus who will share his work regarding Black History. The floor will also be open for any students who want to share their poems or works as well.
There will also be a Politics on the PublicMind event about “The Case for Radical School Reform” on Feb. 17 in the Orangerie.
On Feb. 22 in Hennessy Hall, there will be a Hot Topics event called “What Racism Looks Like Today.”
An opportunity for expression through the arts also will be given to students whether it is through writing or drawing.
Also on Feb. 22, the Orangerie will host a student art show celebrating “A Common Thread: Diversity.”
To mark the end of this celebrated month, FDU will feature a production, “Black History, Black Voices 2: College Colors,” on Feb. 24, 25 and 26 in the Barn Theater.
This student-inspired production, which is an adaptation of works by playwrights and also written by FDU Professor Stacie Lents, focuses on the effects of racism through a series of flashbacks between 1964 and 2011.