Black History Month Kicks Off at FCC

February 7, 2017

Fresno City College honored the start of Black History Month with ceremonies, speeches and music in the Old Administration Building on Feb. 1.
The ceremony began with a prayer followed by a welcome speech by the Carole Goldsmith, FCC president  and Arrie Smith, president of the African-American Faculty and Staff Association.
Walter Brooks, former FCC counselor, was the keynote speaker for the event. Brooks spoke about his years at FCC and the significance of the month.
“Black history month is a remembrance of history and going back and searching where we came from and how we got here,” Brooks said. “Letting those lessons of history be lessons for the future.
Towards the end of the ceremony, Kamilah Harshaw, performed the Black National Anthem.
The ceremony ended with a performance by the Fresno City College Choir and a closing prayer.
“The ceremony was impressive; the choir was amazing and it felt good being surrounded by people like you,” Jyaire Umoja, a theater arts major, said. “It’s not just about being black; it’s about history.”
Ria Williams, the secretary of the African-American Faculty and Staff Association, said that events are scheduled throughout the month, and she hopes they impact FCC students.

“We were hoping for a few more today, but we have a whole month of activities,” Williams said. “We are trying to reach people that do not know what we are having.”
Arrie Smith said she hopes students understand the meaning of Black History Month and are more aware of their history and where they came from.
“With knowledge comes power,” Smith said. “And when we say black history, we are talking about American history.”

The opening ceremony was the first of many events that will be going on around campus during the month of February.

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