Organizers Reflect on UNH’s Commemoration of Black History Month
Organizers Reflect on UNH’s Commemoration of Black History Month

by Jackie Hennessey
Communications and Public Affairs Writer/Editor

The moment Cora St. Marie ’13 will hold on to from UNH’s Black History Month celebration was during the Def Poetry Jam, “My Words Are My Weapon.” While the students performed their poems, she looked around and saw everyone in the packed room riveted.

“The crowd absolutely loved it,” said St. Marie, president of the Black Student Union, which co-sponsored the event with the WRITE Poetry Club. “My favorite part of Black History Month is seeing the faces of students who come out to our events. The programming gives students more of a reason to meet new people while learning about black history.”

UNH's Black History Month celebration concludes this week

The February calendar at UNH was packed with events, educational and entertaining, musical and thought-provoking, including a talk by filmmaker and playwright Alicia Anabel Santos, a “Brother 2 Sister” discussion on interracial dating, a screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and a tribute to Motown.    

The month kicked off with a celebration on February 1, as the Sodexo staff prepared a soul food dinner for the student body and UNH President Steve Kaplan, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Rebecca Johnson, USGA President Patrick Kelland ’13 and St. Marie spoke, unveiling the schedule and encouraging students, faculty and staff to take part in the array of events offered.

Arnold M. Lane Jr., UNH NAACP chapter president, said the soul food was delicious and the sense of excitement and pride of that first event continued throughout the month. “There is always a meaningful event for everyone,” Lane said. “There’s always something new to learn about black/African history, culture, art and cuisine.”

Wanda Tyler, UNH’s director of intercultural relations, said she was particularly taken by “A Night of Neo Soul,” an evening of jazz music and soul food attended by more than 60 students, faculty and staff, and the speech by Santos. As part of her talk, Santos shared a trailer from her documentary, Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story and Tyler found it be a compelling look at the Afrolatina experience. “I found it very interesting and the students did too. They posed really good questions,” Tyler said.

Black History Month wraps up this week with a number of events including a student-faculty discussion titled “The Unforgiveable Word” at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27, in the Alumni Lounge. A potluck dinner will conclude Black History Month at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, in the Alumni Lounge.

Check out the full schedule of events.

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