American River College hosted a Black Heritage Celebration Feb. 20-24 in honor of Black History Month at the Student Center.
There was various art, history and items for sale, along with dancers and a small band playing African music. People walked around and got to experience something ARC delivers to students once every year.
DeKias BoKet was one such student.
“I’m just taking the time to enjoy the people before me,” BoKet said, as he was enjoying the experience while waiting between his classes. He added that he liked the music performance and live painter.
A lot of planning goes into events like this. Frankie Dotson-Johnson is a Student Personnel Assistant at the Center for Leadership and Development, and she helps prepare these events.
“One of the things about putting on an event is making sure that all the logistical pieces are in place,” Dotson-Johnson said. “So when you see me running I’m just trying to make sure every person who has been invited when they come onto the campus is set up and ready to go.”
Dotson-Johnson says she especially loves to plan the Black History event because it means so much to her and was excited because ARC is making it a three-day event this year, unlike previous years.
Along with the Heritage Celebration, there was the Black History 101 Mobile Museum that came to campus on Feb. 22 to provide a look into the culture and history of African Americans.
Khalid el-Hakim is the founder and the speaker for the Black History Mobile Museum. He talked about challenging the audience on the history of social justice and the artifacts like photos of slavery that were laid out around the room.
“These artifacts that were collected were to show about black experience in mainstream history, it means so much,” el-Hakim said.
El-Hakim also discussed the Obamas, specifically Michelle Obama and how she has responded to being targeted by racism
“In history in America, black people have been called savages and beasts, depicting the Obamas as monkeys and Michelle was called in ape in heels,” he said. “She then made the famous speech ‘When they go low, we go high.”