McHenry County College is celebrating Black History Month with food, music, art, lectures and a Golden Globes award-winning movie showing. The theme for this year’s celebration is "Overcoming: The Journey Continues."
Kicking off the month-long celebration will be a Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela Remembrance Day on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Students and faculty will honor these two great men who helped promote peace and unity in the United States and around the world. Students will have the opportunity to create unity beads and view a timeline exhibit highlighting King’s and Mandela’s accomplishments and struggles in the Commons area from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 12-1 p.m. in the Commons, a special presentation will be provided by the Sounds of Good News Productions whose members will provide live music and talk about the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Students and staff will continue the Black History Month celebration on Feb. 5 and 6 with a soul food lunch and live entertainment on Feb. 5 and Feb. 6, featuring jazz musicians and Chicago-style stepping dancers, respectively.
On Feb. 13, a graffiti art or "tag" event will showcase art, photos and discussions about the popular worldwide phenomenon known as graffiti art from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Commons area. The event is meant to showcase art that may not be considered "real art," but many books, movies, video games and clothing companies have made millions of dollars from it and many people in the art world put graffiti art in the same category as "modern art." Students and staff will have an opportunity to paint and explore ways to create their style of art.
On Feb. 18, Patricia Bearden, co-founder of the Chicago based International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry, present "Researching African American Geneaology: It’s Complicated!" from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Luecht Conference Center. Bearden will use her own oral histories to demonstrate the challenges incurred when researching African American history. She discovered the story of her great-great grandmother who took the name Fredonia after her emancipation. Participants will learn how she distinguished fact from fiction and view her photos and a freedom quilt displaying pictures of former slaves.
On Feb. 20, an Open Mic will take place at 7 p.m. in the Scot Room, located behind the cafeteria. Performers are welcome to select some of their pieces from music written or originally performed by the Black and African American community. This event is open to all students, staff and community members.
A 2014 Golden-Globe award-winning movie will be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in the Luecht Conference Center with three different show times: 9 to 11:15 a.m., 1 to 3:15 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. For movie details, visit www.mchenry.edu/aahm.
All Black History month events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the MCC Student Life Office at (815) 455-8550.