» By TIFFANY HALL – thall29@my.apsu.edu

February is national Black History Month, and the Wilbur N. Daniel African-American Cultural Center has a lot of activities planned. The center serves the purpose of being an educational and resource center. The center is also responsible for all of the events that support African-American culture.

“The staff has been working hard to prepare the programming for this significant cultural month,” said Henderson Hill III, director of the AACC. “The events that the Wilbur N. Daniel Cultural Center will be sponsoring for Black History Month 2012 are all very exciting.”

Hill said that the purposes of the events are to raise awareness of how African American culture has impacted history.

The center has six events planned this month.

The first event was the annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Five national organizations funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Nicole Anthony Townsend started the event in 1999.

The main goal was to educate African-Americans on HIV/AIDS and to make them aware everyone is capable of being infected. This event, held in the cultural center from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., offered free HIV/AIDS testing to every student on campus so they can be aware of their status. All information is kept confidential.

The second event is the Sankofa African-American Museum on Wheels planned for Thursday, Feb. 9.

Artwork, artifacts and selected writings will be on display from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the MUC lobby.

The exhibit is to show students different aspects of African-American culture and history they might not otherwise see.

The third event, Peay Soup, is on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Clement auditorium.

This year’s theme is Neo-Soul and Love edition.

Any student, faculty and staff with a valid APSU ID can get in for free, with a cost of $5 to the general public.

The event will last from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to guest artists Jonathon Winstead and Reecy, anyone can sign up to showcase some of their talents.

The cultural center will be participating in the second annual 5k Breast Cancer Awareness Walk alongside The Foy Center on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the walk starts at 10 a.m.

“This is a way for us to get involved with the community and to say that we are aware of breast cancer. But this also gives survivors a chance to say that they’re here, and that they did survive. This is also a way to educate and get the community involved,” said Joseph Chatman III, graduate assistant for the African-American Cultural Center.

A “Hot Topic” discussion will be held Wednesday, Feb. 22. The year’s topic is: “Hip-Hop, Is it Still Relevant?”

Assistant professor of African American Studies Johnny Jones will talk about where hip-hop came from and how it started. In the beginning, hip-hop was a way to express social concern, but is that still relevant in today’s society?

Jones will go into detail about the different things that make hip-hop what it is. The discussion will take place in the cultural center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The events for the month wrap up with a lecture Thursday, Feb. 28. “Who Will Lead the Next Social Movement,” will take place in the Clement auditorium from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Jeff Johnson, the guest speaker and award winning journalist, will talk about who he thinks will be leading the next social movement.

Following the lecture, there will be a chance for students to meet and greet with Johnson and a book signing.

“I’ve been here with the cultural center for four years, and I’m so excited for Jeff Johnson. We haven’t had him here before so it is different, something new,” senior Porsha Milan said.

Milan, as well as several other students, will be helping with the setup and admissions for the events.

A lot of the students helping are an everyday part of the cultural center. Some are student workers and some help out with the events that the center puts on year around. TAS