There are Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Post-it notes in the Dean of Students’ office advertising a January symposium honoring the political leader.
But at the conclusion of the 30th annual Black History Month, traditionally held every February, Katherine Tate of UCI’s African-American studies department believes that ‘there is an overemphasis on the black civil rights movement and the Reverend Martin Luther King,’ Tate said. ‘I would hope we could cover more of our history in the [United States] as slaves, and the contributions we made as slaves.’
Tate also expressed a desire to see the accomplishments of African-Americans in literature, jazz and Afro-Christianity included in a celebration typically focused on civil-rights leaders.
For 32 years, Afrikan Consciousness Quarter has been celebrated on campus in conjunction with Black History Month. It strives to both recall history and strengthen UCI’s own African-American community.
This year’s celebration has already included movie nights, a lecture series, comedy night and a cook-off.
As Black History Month comes to a close, ACQ will continue with continued discussions and a trip to the African-American Museum in Los Angeles.
But despite such recognition and celebration of the African-American community at UCI, did Veronica Sanchez, a fourth-year social sciences major, know about Afrikan Consciousness Quarter? ‘No,’ she said.
A similar question asked to second-year anthropology major Dusty Stevens elicited the same response. He didn’t hear of any events going on to celebrate Black History Month.
However, both of these students happened to be present at an event they had heard about from friends, a Black History Celebration on Feb. 23 hosted by Salma Khoshfekr, a community event planner in the Campus Village housing complex.
Khoshfekr’s two guest speakers