The Center for Leadership and Development collaborated with UNITE to organize and facilitate the Black Heritage Celebration held in the student center at American River College on Thursday in honor of Black History Month.
Live music, poetry, praise dancers, short talks and vendors were among the many forms of entertainment contributing to the event.
The student center was also decorated with images of historical African Americans and Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I Have A Dream Speech’, surrounded by posted messages from ARC students.
Student personal assistant Frankie Johnson facilitated the event with expectations for a day filled with information and learning about black history.
“It’s Black History Month,” Johnson said. “The entertainment and vendors are just part of the story, this event is about information.”
“The idea is to bring awareness to black culture and give students the chance to experience through our display,” Johnson said.
Club and Events Board member Jeremy Diefenbacher said he was happy to be involved in the celebration.
“It’s really important to represent ourselves as black students on this campus and events like this gives us the opportunity to express ourselves and make ourselves recognized,” Diefenbacher said.
Vendors provided goods for sale that included wooden carved masks, oils and perfumes, incense, keepsakes, jewelry, bags, t-shirts and a variety of other items.
There were representatives from the UNITE Diversity Center, Black Student Union, Bethune Cookman College and a host of other organizations to discuss the importance of black culture.
UNITE community interns were present to garner interest in a black student union and promote future goals.
One student, Eric Johnston, said that he attended last year’s celebration and that this year didn’t disappoint.
“The guy playing the flute was amazing, the praise dancers were good too,” Johnston said.
The celebration attracted an array of ARC students throughout the day.