Black History Month
Since President Biden just signed the law making Juneteenth a federal holiday, here is a video from our library from 2019 about the Juneteenth holiday.
Talk Description: “Moraine Valley Community College students will learn about the oldest known holiday to commemorate the ending of slavery in the United States. The session will focus on the historical significance and cultural traditions of the forgotten holiday.”
Special guest Dr. Tracy Crump, Associate Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at St. Xavier University. Dr. Crump’s talk will consider how to build inclusive spaces in our society by exploring the root causes of social unrest in Chicago over the last century. She will start with the Red Summer of 1919 and move forward.
Tracy Crump holds the Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a juris doctorate from from the John Marshall Law School, and earned the LL.M. (post-JD studies) at Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
The Divine Nine is made up of nine historically Black fraternities and sororities, formally known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Greek Organization members Misty Williams and Philip Davis sat down with Moraine Valley students via WebEx and PowerPoint to provide background about their respective organizations and the other Divine Nine organizations. Ms. Williams is Moraine’s director of the Upward Bound project, and Ms. Davis is educational case manager for TRIO/Student Support Services.
The Divine Nine include: Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Delta Sigma Theta, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Iota Phi Theta.
Haki R. Madhubuti is a poet, publisher, and public intellectual. He is the founder of Third World Press which is the largest, independent, African-American owned press in the United States. In this interview, MVCC’s Dewitt Scott interviews Mr. Madhubuti on his new book Taught By Women: Poems as Resistance Language New and Selected as well as discussing his life and work.
The MVCC Black Student Association holds an in-depth discussion of “1919” by Eve L. Ewing. Her award-winning collection of poems explores the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 through poetry. This discussion is moderated by Dr. Amani Wazwaz and it part of the Black History Month celebration and the One Book, One College program.
I met a friend for lunch in early January of this year. Conversation turned to an acquaintance of hers that was involved in an animated film. She told me that the writer/director and the rest of their team were hoping for an Oscar nomination for “Hair Love“. “This is a 6 minute animated short film that centers around the relationship between an African-American father, Stephen, his daughter, Zuri and her hair.”
The film not only got the nomination in January but Matthew Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver received an Oscar for their film. Take 6 minutes out of your day and watch the love between a father and his daughter.
Today marks the passing of one of the great minds of mathematics. Katherine Johnson, a mathematician at NASA during the Space Race, contributed to projects such as America’s first human space flight, the first moon landing, and the Space Shuttle.
In 2015 she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians, for her 33 years of work with NASA.
Moraine Valley students and staff will hear the story about the largest urban rebellion of the Civil rights era. This session will focus on the cause, timeline of events and historical significance of this known riot.
New to the collection is a graphic novel biography, The Life of Frederick Douglass, written by David F. Walker with art by Damon Smyth. It tells the story of Douglass’s life through beautiful illustrations. He lived during the 19th century, was born into slavery in Maryland, learned to read even though it was forbidden to slaves, and ended up becoming one of America’s greatest writers. He worked to abolish slavery and believed in the equality of all. He also was one of the most photographed Americans of the 19th century, even more so than Abraham Lincoln! “Frederick Douglass was acutely aware of the fact that photographs could be used to help define his image in the public eye and, as a result, also influence how white people viewed blacks. In many pictures, his eyes are cast directly at the camera, an uncommon practice at the time, which resulted in a seemingly defiant expression” (Walker, p. 99). His photos were taken without him smiling because he didn’t want to portray “the racist caricature of a ‘happy slave’” (Wikipedia).
If you are not a fan of the graphic novel medium, a biography is a good way to try it out because the illustrations really bring the person’s story to life, which is helpful when learning about historical subjects. It’s not unlike how “Hamilton the Musical” resonated with people and presented a different way of re-telling history, so, too can a graphic novel achieve the same.
Frederick Douglass in MVCC’s collection: