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Films, dinner, dance on deck for Black History Month

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mercyhurst University will recognize Black History Month during February with several events in keeping with this year’s academic theme of confronting injustice, as well as upbeat events for students to celebrate Black culture. In addition to observing the occasion on its Erie campus, students and faculty on the North East campus also have planned a series of events.

Erie campus events are sponsored by the Mercyhurst Multicultural Center and Black Students for Unity (BSU), a student organization that promotes unity and prosperity of minority students on campus.

“We look at Black History Month as an opportunity to take pause and to recognize the contributions that African Americans made throughout American history,” said Pertrina Marrero, director of the Mercyhurst Multicultural Center.

BSU will kick off Black History Month with a film series and panel discussion, Black Lives Matter, on Monday, Feb. 2, with February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four, a documentary detailing the history of the Greensboro, N.C., sit-ins that helped spark the Civil Rights movement in America.

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, Black Lives Matter continues with Panther, a 1995 film about the rise and fall of the Black Panther radical movement of the 1960s. On Wednesday, Feb. 4, the final film in the series is the 1992 biopic Malcolm X, which is about the life and death of the African-American activist portrayed by actor Denzel Washington.

The Black Lives Matter movie series is a free event open to students and the public. Films will be shown on the Mercyhurst campus in Zurn 314 at 6 p.m.

In celebration of Valentine’s Day Feb. 14, BSU will host a “Sweetheart Dinner” for students featuring soul food in Mercy Heritage Room. Reservations are required; contact Pertrina Marrero to rsvp.

Lastly, all Lakers are invited to the Student Union Great Room on Saturday, Feb. 21, for a 90s Throwback Hip Hop and R&B Party. Students are encouraged to come dressed up, styled as their favorite 90s hip hop or R&B artist in celebration of the culture that started it all.

For more information about a Black History Month event, contact Pertrina Marrero at or call 824-2369.

Mercyhurst University — The North East Campus is also hosting several Black History Month events, including:

Friday, Feb. 6: The Student Government Association (SGA) is sponsoring a trip to Tinseltown Movie Theater to view Selma at 7 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 13: The Academic Success Center is providing a “Love Learning” dessert bar from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Miller Dining Hall. In addition to delicious treats, the center will offer tips about effective note taking, reading strategies, test preparation and test-taking skills.

Friday, Feb. 20: Prom Night in Mississipi will be shown at Alex Theatre from 6:30-8 p.m. The film, hosted by Alison Ollinger-Riefstahl, assistant professor of history, is about a true story in 1997 when American actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi if the school agreed to desegregate the prom. A question and answer session will follow.

Saturday, Feb. 21: SGA will screen Love and Basketball at 5 p.m. in Alex Theatre.

Friday, Feb. 27: A soul food dinner hosted by admissions counselor Evan Williams is tentatively scheduled. A location and time will be announced at a later date.