February 14, 2007

Black Cultural Center's discussion to focus on Caribbean islands

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue's Black Cultural Center will present a discussion from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 27 that focuses on the history of the people of the Caribbean and will examine the role of the center in students' lives.

The discussion, which is part of the Diaspora Discussion Series, will be at the Black Cultural Center, 1100 Third St., and is free and open to the public.

"Most think of the Caribbean as a place to escape to for sun and fun on sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, but few people understand or have knowledge of the history of the islands, the original inhabitants, the African slave trade and slavery, customs and practices, and literary traditions," said Jolivette Anderson-Douoning, facility and program supervisor for the Black Cultural Center. "The Black Cultural Center and the Caribbean Students Association are offering a collaborative educational event to educate the students and the public."

The discussion series is a program designed to give voice to students of African, Caribbean and African-American descent and to empower them to share the stories of their history and cultural experiences with others.

The Caribbean Students Association will hold a panel discussion that will focus on what it means to be Caribbean today and who or what defines the boundaries of the Caribbean. The discussion also will address literary, geographic, socioeconomic and other relevant viewpoints.

Students also will share "testimonials" about the Black Cultural Center and its relevance to them as students, Anderson-Douoning said.

"The fact that there are students at Purdue of African descent born in different parts of the world demonstrates a need for dialogue and discussion that will help us understand how the environment we are born into shapes our perception of the world and our identity, or how we see ourselves," she said. "The Black Cultural Center serves as a place for these discussions to take place while also being home to art and artifacts that can help tell the stories of different regions and peoples of the world."

The Caribbean Students Association was reorganized in the spring semester of 2006 and membership has grown to almost 30 members.

"As part of our mission, we hope to expose the Purdue and Greater Lafayette community to the Caribbean Islands, especially those represented on campus," said Laurel Royer, a graduate student in agronomy and Caribbean Students Association event coordinator.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432, maggiemorris@purdue.edu

Sources: Jolivette Anderson-Douoning, (765)494-3094, jjanderson@purdue.edu

Laurel Royer, (765) 494-8095, lroyer@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

Related Web site:
Black Cultural Center: https://www.purdue.edu/BCC/


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