Cheyney University Blog

Our History Month

February 06, 2012

Our History Month

Yesterday, I spent most of the day at the Pearl Theatre helping my husband and the 100 Black Men of Philadelphia set up and host a special showing of the movie, Red Tails.  My husband, Geri Vital, really believes in the transformative power of a few good men.  The event, hosted by 100 of Philly, was designed to connect young Philadelphians to African Americans’ contributions to America and to history––their history. The 100 invited living Tuskegee Airmen from the organization in Philadelphia, to come talk with the audience, to share their experiences, and to receive overdue recognition and appreciation for their sacrifices so long ago.

The 100 Black Men of Philadelphia are a group of men who seem determined to let young men and women know that they are there for them as mentors, as role models, and as caring adults.  I must admit, it was a bit amusing to watch my husband taking the lead behind the scenes to make sure everything went well just as he has done so many times to support me as president of Cheyney University. 

Before the movie, the 100 Black Men showed a video about the work that they and their 115 other international chapters do, and there was a lively question and answer period with the nearly 200 young people in the theatre.  I was pleased to see that the audience was diverse and intergenerational.  Frederick L. Whiten, president of the Philadelphia Chapter, was extremely captivating, and he appeared to know just how to speak to young people.  Wherever he was, there were a group of young men huddled around him, listening to every word.

As usual, there were people who recognized me as the president of Cheyney University. This provided opportunities for me to talk with parents about CU and the Keystone Honors Program.  Of course, I mentioned our 175th Anniversary, and told stories about our students who were completing law school or graduate school.  I also talked to several young people still in high school, and I let them know that we have great expectations for them.

This was my second time seeing Red Tails, and I actually enjoyed it more this second time around.  During the movie, and while hearing questions from the smallest of children about heroism, I realized it was so immensely important to tell the stories of all Americans to demonstrate that courage, persistence, and patriotism is spread across the spectrum of Americans, and we all need to know our stories. 

This is OUR (American) History month!

Michelle

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