Monday, February 11, 2013

Susan Koch: Black History Month at UIS brimming with opportunities

The following is a portion of a guest column written by UIS Chancellor Susan J. Koch. It was published in a February 10, 2013 edition of the State Journal-Register.

"Gumbo, grits, collard greens, banana pudding, fried chicken, okra — these and many other foods that reflect the culinary foodways of traditional Arican-American culture are the subject of the documentary film, “Soul Food Junkies,” by award-winning filmmaker Byron Hurt. The film (and the food) was also the subject of a rich intercultural dialogue held just a few days ago on the University of Illinois Springfield campus as we kicked off our annual celebration of Black History Month.

Since its beginnings in 1926, Black History Month, celebrated in February because the month marks the birthdays of both abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln, has evolved to become an annual observance in the United States. It provides an important opportunity to raise awareness and honor the contributions of African-Americans among people of all backgrounds, and it provides a platform for educational opportunities on university campuses across the country."

Read the full column online