Friday, May 20, 2022

Celebrity to open events

January 31, 2001

Kevin Powell, author, poet and original cast member of MTV’s “The Real World,” will inaugurate MSU’s Black History Month celebration today at 7 p.m.

Black Student Alliance President Tonya Upthegrove said the group decided to invite Powell because he will bring a perspective to Black History Month that students can identify with.

“He has the ability to address issues that are relevant to our generation,” the communication senior said. “He’s worked as a journalist for VIBE and at The New York Times, so he’s had the opportunity to interview some of the people of our generation, such as Tupac Shakur, so he’s someone students can relate to.

“I think he’ll bring a different approach to challenge our generation in activism and our role in black history.”

Black History Month begins Thursday and continues throughout February.

Perhaps best known for his role in the first season of “The Real World,” Powell is also a former senior writer for VIBE magazine and the author of three books, including “Keepin It Real: Post-MTV Reflections On Race, Sex, And Politics.”

He is known for his cultural criticism and has appeared in Newsweek, Essence and Rolling Stone.

Poetry and historical presentations will also be a part of tonight’s program, and BSA e-board members will be encouraging students to wear black clothing on Thursday to commemorate the start of the heritage celebration, Giovannie Thomas, BSA vice president said.

The kickoff will set the tone for how BSA hopes students will celebrate black history, the communication and marketing senior said.

“It shows the importance of celebrating black history, not just during the month, but year-round,” Thomas said. “We should always take time to recognize the accomplishments of black Americans.”

Upthegrove said she wants students of all races to come to the kickoff.

“Hopefully they can gain more insight into the importance of Black History Month and the role it has played in shaping the lives of not just black Americans, but all Americans,” she said.

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