Black History Month

ASU celebrates its diversity

By Christian Hunick
On February 1, 2018

Photo by Axel Marcenaro
Marsalis Mahome, graduate student, paints a compelling piece for the Black History Month Art Contest. Mahome is also sketching a new piece he hopes to begin painting within the week.

ASU Housing and Residential Programs is hosting a five-part series of activities over the course of Black History Month collectively named "The Melanin Experience." All the events will take place at the Plaza Verde Clubhouse.

"As an African American student here at ASU, I was inspired to create these programs as an eclectic way to show the history of my ancestors," Event Coordinator Maya Jones said. "‘The Melanin Experience’ allows us to teach about hair, history, music, art and other forms of entertainment that have been cultivated throughout time."

The first event, which took place on Feb. 1, was called "Family Reunion." The goal of Family Reunion was to bring students of all walks of life together in a fun and inviting setting to socialize. Those who attended enjoyed food from African-American culture, card game tournaments, photo booths and more.

The second event is on Feb. 15 and is entitled "Don’t Touch My Hair."

"Don’t Touch My Hair" is an event to encourage students to embrace who they are in the skin they were given," Jones said.

Hair and skin tips, as well as stereotypes in African-American culture, will be discussed. Food and prizes will be provided.

Students have until Feb. 22 to submit art pieces related to African American culture and history for the "Night at the Museum" art contest. On that night, the artwork will be displayed, and selected winners will receive a prize.

Anybody can submit their art, not just ASU students, Resident Assistant Marsalis Mahome said. Submissions can include a wide range of media such as paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and pottery.

The "Apollo Open Mic Night" on Feb. 23 is a night for all musical talents to step forward and show ASU what they’ve got.

The Apollo theme is a tribute to the Apollo Theater in New York, which was the foundation for many African-American musicians who had limited places to perform due to the color of their skin. Students are encouraged to come even if they will not be singing.

The Melanin Experience wraps up on Feb 27 with "Angelo Speaks: Be you." Angelo Speaks is a collaboration between the University Center Program Council and Plaza Verde. Selected students will present their own poetry pertaining to Black history and embracing oneself. Following the student readings, award-winning performance artist and poet Ebony Stewart will give a performance.

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