Tanuja Amina Budraj
The Liberation Celebration Dinner, celebrating “A Century of Black Excellence,” took place on Jan. 31, marking the beginning of Black History Month. The dinner opened up with Assistant Dean of Students John Selders reciting a blessing not only for the delicious food, but for the whole month of February and the many events that will celebrate Black excellence. With performances from FriendzWorldMusic, Hartford’s Proud, and a local jazz band (@nelsonbellomuzic), the Liberation Celebration was a great kick off for Black History Month.
Black History Month, also known as African American History Month is the annual celebration of important figures and events in the history of the African diaspora for the whole month of February. Originally created in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson, African American history was only celebrated during the second week of February, which coincides with Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th and Fredrick Douglass’ on the 14th. Black History week was then expanded upon by Black students and administrators at Kent State University in February of 1969. Countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and the Republic of Ireland, are all in observance of Black History Month.
Here at Trinity, the Black History Month Committee (BHM), headed by Danyel Hudson ’20, has been hard at work planning exciting and educational programs around the theme of Black history. Along with the support of eight organizations on campus (Trinity College Black Women Organization, IMANI’s Black Student Union, Men of Color Alliance, La Voz Latina, African Student Association, Caribbean Students Association, and House of Peace), the Black History Month committee has put together a month full of events that the Trinity and Hartford community can enjoy and celebrate Black excellence.
With Trinity’s matriculating classes becoming more diverse throughout the years, the POC community has grown tremendously on campus and, in turn, increasingly engaged with the residents of the Hartford community. Many of the organizations on campus that are participating in Black History Month come from different places in the African diaspora, creating a wide array of ways to celebrate Black History Month. From movie showings, to fun games, thought provoking discussions, and various social events, the BHM committee has organized many different ways for the community to commemorate African American History.
The Liberation Celebration Dinner was the beginning to a month-long appreciation of Black history. The energy and excitement that was felt through students, faculty, and performers at the kickoff dinner will continue on throughout the month of February.