OBU is hosting several events during February in observance of Black History Month. The events are coordinated by Kenneth Chapman, assistant dean of students.
"The month of February is designated as Black History Month, or African-American History Month here in the U.S., and is celebrated annually," Chapman said. "Originally founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a professor of History who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1912, Black History Month is a time to celebrate and learn about the many achievements of African-Americans here in America. The first black history month was celebrated at Kent State University in Ohio in the year 1970. Several years later in 1976, President Gerald Ford urged citizens to participate in learning about the many contributions that African-Americans have made in the United States of America."
"It is important to note that while we recognize achievements of African-Americans for Black History month, that it is only a piece of American history that is made up of significant contributions by all people from different races, ethnicities and walks of life," Chapman added.
OBU will hold several events during the month that will give students and faculty a chance to learn about African-American history and experience African-American culture.
Thursday, Feb. 12, OBU held a live history event where Bertholomew Bailey, OBU admissions counselor, presented the famous civil rights era speech, "I Have a Dream" by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King Jr.
The United Students of Color and other members of the OBU community will attend Unity Baptist Church in Oklahoma City Sunday, Feb. 22, for their 11 a.m. service. Unity Baptist Church was founded by the late Rev. Dr. Eric A. Mayes Jr., the first African-American graduate of OBU. Mayes, who was born May 30, 1924, was also drafted into the U.S. Army during his junior year of high school and served in France, Austria and Germany. He graduated from OBU in 1963 and went on to author five books and found a nonprofit ministry designed to provide scholarships for college-bound students. Mayes delivered OBU's ninth annual Gaskin Lectureship in 2000. He died Sept. 10, 2014, leaving behind 90 years of an outstanding legacy in both Baptist ministry and African-American achievement.
The OBU English Department and United Students of Color will sponsor an African-American Read-In Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m. in the lower Geiger Center. During the event, different readers will share literary works from various authors.
Friday, Feb. 27, a gospel music service featuring visiting gospel choirs from local Baptist churches will be held in Raley Chapel's Yarborough Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.