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First Thursday kicks off Black History Month with a bang

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First Thursday kicks off Black History Month with a bang

Lamberto Diaz, Staff Writer

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The Four Elements and the Black Leadership Collective hosted the “Black History Month Kick-Off” in the Euphrat Museum of Art on Feb. 5.

Donna Jones- Dulin, Associate Vice President of Operations at De Anza, honored and highlighted important historical figures and events which contributed to the Civil Rights Movement and influenced the passage of many Civil Rights laws.

She shared with the audience her background of growing up with many hardships while living in a rural and segregated 1950’s town called Heidelberg, Mississippi. Her family relocated to a suburb of Chicago during the Great Migration of African Americans in search of better opportunities.

She graduated from Luther College in Minneapolis, Minnesota and applied her education to serve the African American community.

Dulin has enjoyed  a successful career at De Anza College that has spanned over almost twenty years after joining the faculty in 2001.

She was responsible for the creation of many groundbreaking projects and buildings during her remarkable career at De Anza College.

She ended the slideshow presentation with a song by Nina Simone titled “To be Young Gifted and Black” to remind students to avoid becoming complacent and taking  for granted the freedoms we all enjoy right now.

Her presentation was well received by an appreciative audience who glowingly responded to her empowering  and powerful message with a standing ovation.

By 8pm, many faculty members left and were replaced by a varying contingent of spoken word poets, acapella singers, a guitar duo and solo performers.

The open- mic and poetry recital phase was well underway. On the marquee were many talented and future rising stars such as Alkemy, Lisa Estrada, Mathemadix, Maya and co-hosts Four Elements along with many others who contributed artistically.

Multitalented spin master Kid Krikit showcased his DJ abilities by adding tonal colors and hues to  the many musical genres and stylistic repertoires of the participants scores.

Improviser Sharif was joined by his cohorts on the gallery floor as other freestylers responded to his chanted verses in an improvisational style.

The open- mic recital wound down at  10 pm as freestyler Black Jesus  performed lyrical versing which moved the crowd to ebb and flow to rock bottom beats spun by DJ Kid Krikit.

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