Black History Month Preview

Story By: Hannah Medrano, Reporter

Fresno City College will begin celebrating African American History Month on Feb. 3 with an opening ceremony in the Old Administrative Building Auditorium. 

The event will feature Education Reform Advocate Angie Barfield and a drum and dance performance from a FCC instructor. The event will be held in the OAB from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  

“This is when we think about our heritage, celebrate, our culture and can encourage students who feel that they may not belong here or are concerned that they may not be successful,” said Deborah Lewis, president of the African American Faculty and Staff Association. She will also be speaking on behalf of the AAFSA at the opening ceremony.

When asked about how she hopes the month’s events will impact the African American student body Lewis said,“This celebration of who we are as African Americans and it helps to restore some of the pride we lose in ourselves as we experience racism and discrimination.”

Following the opening ceremony, on Feb. 4, 2020, FCC will be visited by over 20 recruiters from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). 

The HBCU’s representatives will be offering students the opportunity to speak with college recruiters one-on-one. The HBCU will also be waiving application fees, aiding students with scholarship applications and answering any questions that students may have.

On Feb. 13, 2020, the speakers forum will be welcoming Yale professor and award-winning poet Claudia Rankin to Fresno City’s campus. 

Claudia Rankine is well recognized for her latest poetry collection “Citizen: A American Lyric.” ”Citizen: A American Lyric” is a compilation of works, with a primary focus on the struggles of racism, discrimination and the power of imagination. 

Rankin will be speaking in the OAB auditorium at 7:00 pm and the first 100 participants will receive a free copy of “Citizen.”

Events later in the month include a presentation hosted by Professor Kirk herself. She will be giving a presentation on her time spent travelling in Senegal, Africa.

“African American history is interwoven woven into who we are as Americans, this is our time to remember. It’s our generation’s turn to define who we’re going to be this next century,” said Kirk.

African American History month on FCC’s campus  will not only be providing students with resources and opportunities for their futures but it will also push to strengthen student and faculty confidence in the present time.

“Experiences can become discouraging and our hope is that by having some of these celebrations and programs we can encourage our students and ourselves as well,” said Lewis.