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Black History Month Celebrates Music and Awareness

January 27, 2017

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Texas Lutheran University is celebrating Black History Month with a variety of events throughout February including service projects, social justice discussions, movie screenings, and guest lectures.

This year’s theme, “A Celebration of Black Music,” focuses on the cultural and historical impact black musicians have had in our society.

“Black history is a huge part of American history,” JaKayla DaBera, president of TLU’s Black Student Union (BSU) said. “We chose this theme because we felt it was important to understand that the origins of many musical genres, like rock ’n roll, were inspired and came from African people and black music.”

Another aspect of the 2017 events is promoting awareness and inclusivity, as well as fun and fellowship.

“Soul Food Night is really fun for everyone, especially many of the black students who are far away from home,” DaBera said. “I think it’s great that we can sit down with Chef Ernie and see how much he cares about making food we like. We’re all a family here at TLU and this let’s us know that our voice matters.”

Other events, like the Social Justice Night: Black Panthers, Vanguard of Revolution and the Our Generation Panel Discussion: Politics and Civil Rights, are opportunities for the campus community to come together and discuss issues.

“I’m looking forward to watching the Black Panther documentary and I think it’s a great way to learn about and listen to other perspectives,” DaBera said. “A lot of us students—even if we’re black—maybe don’t know as much as we should about our own history. I think it could even inspire some students to seek out more information on topics they might never have thought to learn about.”

DaBera said it’s important to her, and to BSU, that there is a message of openness and inclusion for all students to attend any of the Black History Month events. Inspired by the presidential election, the Our Generation Panel Discussion is an open forum for people to share their concerns and discuss the history of civil rights in America.

“We’ll have people from older generations and young people sharing their stories and experiences,” DaBera said. “We want to let any of our peers who might be concerned about the outcome that they’re not alone. We also welcome anyone who is hopeful about the outcome to attend and learn about why people do have concerns and are protesting. BSU always strives to bridge gaps and reach out to all students and we want all of this year’s Black History Month events to have that openness.”

For a full list of events, visit

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