AU Black History Month Commemorations begin
AU hosted the first of a series of public lectures commemorating Black History Month on the 2nd of February 2018. The lecture was delivered by Bishop L. Jonathan Holston who is the United Methodist Church Resident Bishop of the South Carolina Annual Conference, as well as Rev. Nelson B. Rivers III, Pastor of the Charity Missionary Baptist Church, North Charleston, South Carolina and Vice President, Religious Affairs and External Relations of the National Action Network.
The topic tabled for discussion, “The role of the Black Church and why it Matters” explored the changing role of the Black Church throughout the decades. The presenters highlighted integral contributions made by the Black Church towards bringing justice and equality for African Americans especially during the Jim Crow era of the 1950’s. They called upon the Black Church to continue to serve as a moral compass of the collective consciousness and seek to build communities that do not see color and are focused on reconciliation and not retaliation. Rev. Nelson. B .Rivers who quoted the iconic African hero Nelson Mandela said,
“As I walked out the door towards my freedom, I knew if I did not leave all the anger, hatred and bitterness behind that I would still be in prison.”
Both presenters, who have robust backgrounds and experience in the civil rights movement in the USA delivered powerful personal accounts of how the Black Church has served as both a refuge and agitator for the rights of Black Americans and migrants in America.
The Public lecture was well attended by representatives from various religious denominations from the Mutare Community, students, staff and the interested public. The month of February indicates the beginning of the commemoration of Black History Month at Africa University where everything African, every achievement made by black people across the world and every cultural identity of the global community of black people is celebrated. The tradition of celebrating Black History Month goes beyond Africa University and has become an iconic occasion celebrated in many parts of the world.
Story by- J Dadzie
Editor- T. Kanonge