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Ribbons part of Black History Month at ETSU

Rex Barber • Feb 4, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Black History Awareness Month continued at East Tennessee State University with red, black and green on Monday.

Brooklyn Allison, a student majoring in public health, was busy Monday afternoon handing out lapel ribbons in those three colors to everyone passing by or sitting down for lunch in the D.P. Culp University Center atrium on the second floor.

“It’s to help commemorate Black History Month,” she said when asked about the ribbons.

According to information accompanying the ribbons, the colors were introduced by Marcus Garvey and were intended to represent the nationalistic interests of black people.

Red represents blood shed during oppression and the struggle for freedom.

Black represents the sameness of all people of African descent.

Finally, green represents the African continent.

Garvey was a Jamaican political leader who lived from 1887-1940.

Allison works in the office of multicultural affairs at ETSU.

She said there are many events coming up this month in honor of black history.

February, which is Black History Awareness Month, kicked off at ETSU this past Friday with a party hosted by the Black Affairs Association.

Some other events planned are National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day today from 11a.m. - 2 p.m. Red ribbons will be distributed at this event. Information and free testing will be provided by Hope for Tennessee.

On Feb. 12, the Sankofa African American Museum on Wheels will be in the Culp Center Ballroom from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. This traveling museum contains items, documents and figures based on African-American history since 1860.

This traveling museum is open to everyone.

The annual Semi-Formal Dance will be held Feb. 23 from 10 p.m.-2 a.m. in the Culp Center ballroom. Participants are welcome to dress up and enjoy an evening of dancing and music provided by DJ Nize. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information or special assistance for those with disabilities, call the ETSU office of multicultural affairs at 439-6633 or mcstaff@etsu.edu.

Allison said it was important to recognize Black History Awareness Month because it is a chance to remind people of the trials and difficulties African-Americans have faced through the years.

She originally came to ETSU from Chattanooga because she heard about the quality of the public health program. Eventually Allison began working in the multicultural affairs office and learned more about the cultures of everyone, which she finds interesting.

“I’m learning more as time progresses, which is very interesting to me,” she said. “I like it all.”

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