M.A.C. presents an event to honor Black History Month

Ron Jones, Black History Month SpeakerIn observance of Black History Month, the Gaston College Multicultural Affairs Committee (M.A.C.) presented an appearance by educator, actor, writer and social activist Rob Jones. Jones is the executive director of Dialogues on Diversity, a theater company that focuses on social justice and diversity awareness.

The event was held from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, in the Crash Café on the College’s Dallas Campus. Jones’ presentation was “We Return Fighting: The History of African American Soldiers at Home and Abroad.” The title of the presentation comes from “Returning Soldiers,” an essay by W.E.B. DuBois that appeared in the May 1919 issue of the magazine The Crisis.

The presentation addressed the contributions of African Americans during their U.S. military service since emancipation, and the many struggles and challenges they faced while in the military and in greater society after their service. Jones told of the Buffalo Soldiers, a primarily black regiment that served in the 19th century, and the Hellfighters of Harlem, an all-Black World War I unit. Despite their courage, patriotism and heroism, these soldiers were denied the respect and honors they had earned. This was also the case with African Americans who served in more recent times.

Jones, who was proud to serve in the military himself, encouraged audience members to learn more about this aspect of American history that is not often taught in classes.

The mission of the Multicultural Affairs Committee is to develop and deliver an array of activities to expose the Gaston College community to diverse cultures.

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