Campus Black History Month Luncheon was a multifaceted feast

Story and photos By Haylee Boggs

Knightly News Reporter

At Central Penn College, we gathered to celebrate Black History Month, with the annual luncheon the crowning event.

The college hosted the luncheon on Feb. 22 in the Central Penn Conference Center. The event highlighted and celebrated artistry, integrity and excellence of African Americans.

Woman in black business attire and red hair and glasses at a microphone and podium,
Sidney Green reads her poem at the luncheon.

About 100 people attended the luncheon, which was dedicated to the opportunity to understand the depths of Black history.

Central Penn student-athlete Sidney Green presented her poem called “Why Do You Hate Us?”

Black History Month speaker Chad Lassiter addresses Central Penn students and employees
Chad Lassiter, executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, delivering the keynote address at the Central Penn Black History Month Luncheon.

Keynote speaker Chad Lassiter, executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, quoted Mamie Till-Mobley, who lost her son, Emmet Till, to racist murder in Mississippi in 1955: “(Bucking) institutionalized power… she had the casket open to show what white supremacy and hatred did to her son, saying, ‘I don’t have a moment of hate for I am pursing justice.’”

Lassiter’s compelling speech about racism and social justice held the attention of luncheon attendees.

A local Black-owned business, Alphonso’s Smokehouse Brown, provided and served the luncheon food.

John Graves Productions, a Philadelphia music, dance and theater performance group, provided entertainment.

Two men and a woman dressed in black singing at the luncheon.
Members of John Graves Productions sing for luncheon attendees.

Awards given

Five students received awards at the luncheon:

· Sidney Green (Rosa Parks Award for Academic Excellence)

· Gabriela “Gabby” Perez (Dr. Martin Luther King Award for Leadership)

· Lionel Coates (Bayard Rustin Award for Social Justice Advocacy)

· Sara Walters (Dr. C. Delores Tucker Award for Community Service)

· Hans Desire (Revered Olin Harris Award for Character) Other events in February were the Black Student Union’s screening of the civil rights era-themed Movie “Selma”; display on video screens across campus posters of significant achievements of Black Americans; small-poster announcements of the same sort on the Central Penn app; and continuation of the Central Penn common read of “The Other Wes Moore,” an effort of the college’s Anti-Racism Advisory Council.

Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.

Story edited by media-club co-adviser and blog editor Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.