October: Homecoming, Conferences, and Papers

As October draws to an end, I made a promise to myself that my last blog post would not be from September and I will remain true to this promise. October has been a month full of blessings. So here is a post about my latest adventures.

Homecoming

No one expected me back for Homecoming. I jokingly told everyone during my senior year I was taking a five to ten year break from Messiah College. It all changed the Thursday before Homecoming. Last Homecoming, I assisted in an annual brunch for the multicultural and international alumni. It is usually a hit or miss event; however, in 2013 only four to five alumni attended the event. The student leaders within the Office of Multicultural Affairs personally invited alumni back through letters and phone calls, but our efforts were in vain, or so it seemed. At the event, one of the founding members of the Black Student Union attended and through her presence an idea was birthed. What if we held an event honoring the founding members of these organizations (Asian Student Association, African Student Union, Black Student Union, ISA MuKappa, La Alianza Latina, and the Multicultural Council)? The idea was born and through the work of Cora Hines, who is currently the Vice President of Diversity Affairs (my previous position), the event was held this October. It was truly a beautiful event and although many of the honorees could not attend, the simple act of recognizing their efforts was enough. All were honor, including myself!!!, with the Multicultural and International Student Impact Award.

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Black Doctoral Network Conference 2014

Making the Connection was this year’s theme. I was encouraged by my professor to submit a proposal for this conference and to both of our surprise it was submitted. I gave a 15 minute presentation on ‘History Beyond Theory: Connecting Biographies, Institutional Memory, and Diverse Publics’. Overall, it went well and people asked questions…which is always a good sign. The conference included multiple panels, keynote speakers, workshops, and sessions. Keynote speakers included Dr. Khalil Muhammad, Director of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (one of my favorites places), Beverly Guy-Sheftall, and Camille Ragin. What struck me was during Dr. Guy-Sheftall’s presentation. She casually brought up her mini-vacation with Alice Walker and her discussion of womanist and feminist. Womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender. Beautiful analogy, but who has the privilege of hanging out with Dr. Walker in that manner. I was extremely jealous. Overall, it was an amazing conference with great networking opportunities with black professionals across the nation. If you are a black professional or simply an undergraduate or graduate student, check out the Black Doctoral Network. You will not regret it.

Papers

I am currently working on two papers–one for my historical methods course and another for my introducation to library science course. The first is a historiography paper on Dr. Carter Woodson’s motivation behind writing black history and how scholars have either disagreed or agreed with his reasoning overtime. My second paper explores the beginning of the Schomburg Center and the influence the Harlem Renaissance played in its development. I will also be completing research on finding Harry’s slave roots as well as a post dedicated to finding your family’s history. So look out for these posts!

Also today the Rachel Flowers’ jazz suite was played at Messiah College. I received so many messages, videos, and was even placed on speaker phone. It was an amazing performance and my heart was full of joy. Hopefully I can get a recording up soon for you all to enjoy the musical production as well.

Until the next post!

Christina

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