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Lectio Live! celebrates Black History Month

Marielle Hampe | Monday, February 14, 2011

Carter G. Woodson, known as the “Father of Black History,” started “Negro Week” in 1926 in an attempt to educate the American people about the culture and achievements of African-Americans. 85 years later, Woodson’s vision endures as Americans around the nation pause to remember the history of African-Americans during Black History Month every February.

Clubs and organizations associated with the University of Notre Dame host a variety of events annually to commemorate Black History Month. Some previous events have included talk series, art exhibits, musical performances and coffee house events.  

Notre Dame’s First Year of Studies celebrates Black History Month on Tuesday, February 15 at Reckers with the performance of various freshmen as Lectio Live! celebrates Black History Month.

Lectio Live! brings first-year performers together for a night of entertainment. This event was coordinated by first year advisors Ricky Ramon and Sean Wernert. Admission is free and all faculty members and students are encouraged to attend. The Lectio Live! series provides a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for all performers and audience members.

All performers were asked to perform pieces that celebrate African-American history.  In addition to eight student performers, Ricky Ramon will be reading poetry, and Dean Hugh Page of the First Year of Studies will sing.

“President John Jenkins has clearly stated on numerous occasions the importance of celebrating Notre Dame’s diversity,” Ramon said. “There are many venues where we as faculty can show our students that we, too, believe in Fr. Jenkins’ message to celebrate diversity. The First Year of Studies wholeheartedly believes that we need to expose our First Year students the importance of celebrating each other’s uniqueness. Lectio Live! gives our First Year students the platform to celebrate that uniqueness while meeting Fr. Jenkins’ mission to celebrate the diversity Notre Dame has to offer. Celebrating Black History month is just one way of doing that.”

Freshmen Noah Rangel and Amanda Ly are two of the performers on Tuesday night.  Rangel said he has been singing since he was four and has been playing guitar for almost two years. He will be playing three songs on Tuesday night — “Walk Away” by Ben Harper and Jack Johnson’s “No Other Way,” as well as an original piece.

“Black history month is a celebration of the achievements of black individuals and groups that have bettered our nation,” Rangel said. “I am playing in Lectio Live! for mostly the performance experience, but in honor of Black History Month, I am performing a song by Ben Harper, a black musician who has influenced my musical style.”

Amanda Ly will also sing and play guitar. Ly started writing songs and singing when she was nearly 17 years old, and she will be performing an original composition with acoustic guitar and vocal called “Recycled.”

“I enjoy performing, and Black History Month is a commendable occasion. Black History Month means a celebration of both the progress and rich heritage of the African American race,” said Ly.

Rangel and Ly will be joined by other first-year students at the Lectio Live! event.

“The audience can expect to be blown away and possibly see some serenading,” Ly said. “Live! is going to be epic — tell your friends.”