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The Lookout | August 5, 2021

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Symposium celebrates Black history

Symposium celebrates Black history
  • On February 17, 2021

By Maddy Warren
Editor In Chief

As part of Black History Month, LCC’s Black History Committee is hosting a series of virtual events to celebrate.

One of these events was the annual Malcolm X Symposium held Tuesday, Feb. 16. The theme of the event for 2021 is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.”

“Here, we don’t just celebrate Black History Month in the month of February, we celebrate Black History 365 (days of the year),” said Robin Moore, a member of the LCC Black History Awareness Committee.

Dr. Willie Davis, LCC African American studies and education professor, was the emcee for the night.

Three generations of West Michigan Jewel of Africa made a dance presentation during the Malcolm X Symposium on Feb. 16. Virtual photo by Maddy Warren

“For about six years now we’ve been doing this (symposium) and we actually celebrate … Feb. 21, which is the day Malcolm was assassinated,” Davis said. “We thought we would also do something around that date, especially because it happened during Black History Month.”

The keynote speaker was Alice Thompson, CEO of Black Family Development (BFDI) Educational Services. Thompson discussed the program and how it helps families.

Other speakers included LCC diversity project coordinator Jonathan Rosewood, and LCC Alumnus Quan Jackson.

Both Rosewood and Jackson spoke on their upbringings and the journey that eventually led them to LCC.

Rosewood focused on diversity in Black families and shared his experience with his adopted family.

“A lot of the people on this call (know) me as Jonathan; I’m smiling, I’m happy, I’m feeling good, but I was an angry young man,” Rosewood said.

Rosewood said his mom told him he was adopted at a young age, and that he sometimes felt anger toward his biological parents. Despite this, his adoptive parents showed him and his brother nothing but love, sacrifice and humbleness.

Jackson, 25, discussed the difficulties he faced growing up and his time as an LCC student. Jackson is a father himself and re-enrolled at LCC after his son was born.

“(LCC started) to be the home that I never had,” Jackson said. “I went to a conference earlier last year where they talked about ‘home is not a physical place, home is where you are loved; home is where you are appreciated.’ Home for me is LCC.”

Performances included African Masquerade Dancers Worship Without Words and West Michigan Jewels of Africa Dance and Presentation.

The night ended with an LCC community poetry activity led by LCC English Professor Barb Clauer.

Everyone on the WebEx call was encouraged to write a few lines inspired by the quote: “Stand with loved ones/Stand with all/Today does not determine tomorrow/and even if I fall, I am no longer alone,” and share them in the chat.

Clauer quickly put a few of the contributions together and read them aloud to the group. The finished poem will be sent out to participants via email.

Upcoming Black History Month events include:

* Courageous Conversations with Dr. Tonya Bailey: Racial Healing Part II, on Thursday, Feb. 18 from 1 to 3 p.m.;

* LCC Choir event “We Shall Overcome: Raising Our Voices Together” on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.;

* Beyond the Book Circle Discussions;

* and Soul Food Fridays.

For the full list of events visit