African American Heritage Festival event to promote conversation around black culture on campus and in the media

“Word on the Street: Black Culture or Pop Culture? will take place on Monday and is one of eight events that will make up the 44th annual African American Heritage Festival. Credit: Courtesy of African American Heritage Festival

The African American Heritage Festival’s annual Word on the Street discussion, hosted by the Multicultural Center, heads into the festival’s 44th rendition to offer dialogue about black culture in the media.

The discussion, titled “Pop culture or black culture?will be held Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Ohio Union’s Round Meeting Room, according to the festival’s instagram. Arielle El-Amin, a fourth-year urban and regional planner and co-chair of Word on the Street, said the event was also intended to allow students to openly discuss their personal experiences and black culture in general.

“The goal is to give our black students a space to discuss any issues they have regarding black culture,” El-Amin said. “All the positive things they have experienced with black culture, both in the state of Ohio and in our society. A space to express yourself.

Word on the Street: “Pop culture or black culture?” is one of the eight events that make up the 44th Annual African American Heritage Festival, which will begin on Friday, according to the website. El-Amin said the event will feature guest speakers such as Charity Martin-King, director of social change at Ohio State.

The African-American Heritage Festival began as a block party in the 1990s, but has since grown into an eight-day festival, said Jaden Royal, graduate student in education studies and Ohio Union graduate administrative associate. Activities Board. According to the festival’s website, this year’s event is themed around the Swahili word for “awakening” – “uamsho”.

In addition to Word on the Street: “Pop culture or black culture?” the festival will include a talent show and poetry showcase, as well as events such as OSU Reads: “Reaching for the Stars” and Gospel Fest: “The Revival,” according to the scheduled event.

“Students can expect their voice to be heard, but they can also expect to learn a lot about different topics that they may not be familiar with,” El-Amin said.

Royal said the festival will also collaborate with several student organizations, such as Black Students in Psychology, NAACP and the Black Student Association, to bring the discussion to students and community members.

“Word on the Street is one of the most unique events because it allows us to bring together black people and people of color to talk about taboo topics in the community,” Royal said. “As part of the heritage festival, we have exciting events like variety and poetry showcases. Word on the Street is a more serious event.

The festival and discussion are free and reservations are not required. Masks must be worn during the in-person event per university COVID-19 guidelines. According to the festival instagram, a Zoom link will be available for participants interested in joining “Word on the Street: Pop Culture or Black Culture?” virtually.

“The goal of the festival is to provide a space for obviously black students, but also students of color and marginalized students on campus, to feel like they have a space on this predominantly white campus” , Royal said.

Joseph K. Bennett