Lighting the way of the past through a black history film

Alvaro Flores, Staff Writer

To commemorate black history month professor Frank Gaik presented a Spike Lee film titled Chi-Raq.

Gaik hosted a film presentation to teach students about black history.

The event was held at Cerritos College on Thursday, Feb. 18 in room LA 204.

He collaborated with UMOJA program coordinator Dr. Shelia Hill and the selection of the film was based on a survey.

Students were asked to submit film suggestions resulting in fifty submissions, which they then voted for the five finalist films.

Nursing major Yolanda Younan said, “I think it’s great, that here at Cerritos College, we learn about black history month. Personally I’m a big fan of Martin Luther King Jr.”

She believes by celebrating black history it helps future generations remember the history of African Americans.

This presentation is part of the learning communities program called “The Dynamics of Leadership.”

Dr. Hill says UMOJA stands for unity in Swahili and dedicates itself to academic success, cultural influence and personal empowerment of African American students and their allies.

Psychology major Frank Machado said, “I think black history month is meant to show an appreciation of what African Americans had to overcome such as inequality and slavery.”

He believes Cerritos College doesn’t do enough to celebrate black history month.

Mechado said “I hope in the future, events like this have more promotion; I want to see more posters and engage in discussion.”

Hill said the documentary highlighted the struggles that not only African American women faced but women in general; who had no voting rights for a period of time.

Business major Rosio Salazar expressed that she admires Rosa Parks. She feels that she was a strong woman.

She also admitted that she would like Cerritos College to teach students about various cultures throughout the year.

Engineering major Juan Carlos Reyes agreed, “we need to remember the great things these people did for our country like MLK.”