Organizer plans for ‘raw’ Black History Month celebration

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Black History Month events at Eastern New Mexico University Black History Month will be a little raw, said African-American Affairs Director Jordan Anderson.

“This is the first year that I’ve had control of all the events,” Anderson said. “I really wanted to make it pretty straight forward. I didn’t want it to be safe like it has been in the past years. I wanted it to be more raw.”

Some of the presentations this year include the Rise and Fall of the Black Panthers because they were an aggressive group and they have gone unnoticed, said Anderson. Doug Morris, ENMU professor of reading, is scheduled to talk about the Black Panthers.

“We are aware that every school is getting cut budget wise,” Anderson said. “I made sure to use the resources that we have here. So, instead of going out and getting guest speakers, we looked for professors here that have experienced this or witnessed it.”

Anderson said that Morris is hands-on and has paid very close attention to the civil rights movement and equal rights.

Morris is also doing another presentation called freedom and jazz, about how slaves used music to communicate. International student Kevin Kaiwenxu will be performing jazz that night.

Two days into the Black History Month there will be a discussion board to talk about the “N” word.

“The discussion board is probably going to be the most controversial,” Anderson said. “I wanted it to be that way. The ‘N’ word discussion board, which is a question and discussion board, is about the ‘N’ word and about when and if it is appropriate to use and people can give their own examples and experiences about it.”

Anderson said he wants the discussion to be open, and no one is going to be judging someone for its use, and get some people’s opinion about it.

There’s also a Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including videos of his speeches and a Malcolm X Day.

“You need Martin Luther King and Malcolm X in order to get the full movement,” Anderson said. “I think it is really important to… (remember) the fallen leaders who really don’t get much credit.”

Anderson said all the events are open to students and people in the community.

One of the other events is a Mardi Gras Soul Food Buffet with Louisiana Style cooking. Student Assistant Shani Morris said that the Mardi Gras will have jambalaya, fried chicken, collard greens.

“Its kind of a mix of soul food like your mother would cook back home,” Morris said. “We’re going to give out beads in the cafeteria that should be fun. No flashing.”

Info 562-2437 or e-mail enmu.africanamericanaffairs@enmu.edu