Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast students share Black History month with local community

Monday, February 10, 2020
1922 Sigma Gamma Rho signage sits propped against donated African American greek memorabilia from Kathleen Hudson and Marilyn Jackson.
Photo by Martin Woods

Celebration for diversity, history and scholarly achievement has fallen upon the Southeast community in honor of Black History Month. University organizations and departments have partnered with community groups to coordinate events throughout the month of February to spreading enlightenment beyond the campus community.

Michael Davis Lecture - Kyra Joiner

The Department of Mass Media held its 24th annual Michael Davis Lecture, an event series highlighting African American professionals working in media-related fields.

Southeast alumna Kyra Joiner visited the campus as a speaker for the event, encouraging students to step outside their comfort zone and pursue their dream career with full force.

After receiving an internship with the St. Louis Cardinals, Joiner found a connection between the sports industry and her advertising degree. She became a successful sports marketing consultant, connecting athletes to brands such as Playstation, Delta and Mastercard.

Black History is Our History

Cape Girardeau Central High School’s annual Black History Month celebration is themed “Black History is Our History,” organized by Central senior Breawna Austin. She hoped to demonstrate the meaning of inclusivity, informing individuals that it’s not solely about the Black community’s history, but all of “ours”.

This was Austin’s third year coordinating the program, and this year’s program is in remembrance of two late Cape Girardeau public figures, Dennis Vinson and Frank Ellis.

Southeast’s Sigma Gamma Rho chapter performed a step show along with other performances from artist Malcolm McCrae, Fingerprint Dance Studio performers and more.

“I thought this was an opportunity for everyone,” Austin said. “A lighthearted way to appreciate what we have and where it’s come from.”

The event was held Thursday, Feb. 6, at Cape Girardeau Central High School.

Thank You, Ms. Mona

As a tribute to Mona Robinson’s contribution to God’s Ensemble a gospel choir at Southeast, the choir gave a performance at Cape Girardeau Central High School. While sharing the “tradition and respectable culture of gospel music,” God’s Ensemble planned to lift every voice while giving thanks to the lady who’s helped their choir in more ways than one.

The choir group looks to “Ms. Mona” Robinson as a mentor, pianist and viable resource for connecting the members to different opportunities. This event, in particular, is another opportunity Robinson presented to them, making this yet another win for the choir.

“We love doing things for Ms. Mona because she’s always had our back,” Choir Director and Vice President Victoria Cherry said.

During the cultural celebration, the choir performed signature songs such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” “Jesus is a Rock,” and African-inspired pieces.

The event took place Thursday, Feb. 6, at Cape Girardeau Central High School.

Southeast Missouri African American History Exhibit

The Southeast Department of History and Anthropology has invited the Diversity Committee and Kent Library Special Collections and Archives to inspire students to become more involved in African American history and share ways of preserving the culture on campus.

“We’re going to highlight some of our collections from African American fraternities and sororities,” said Roxanne Dunn, Special Collections and Archives librarian.

Dunne shared that until recently, Special Collections and Archives had come to terms with their limited documentation of the African American experience on campus.

“That’s not saying there is no great history or legacy of what those students have accomplished,” Dunn said. “That information isn’t making back here, and this event is waving a red flag to fix it.”

Dunn wants the event to draw the attention of the community to better document and share the stories of African Americans from the university and surrounding area.

The event will take place Friday, Feb. 28, in the University Center.

For more information on campus celebrations for the month, visit the MLK Committee in Academic Hall or call (573) 651-2626.