USA Celebrates Black History Month


Posted on February 1, 2018 by Joy Washington
Joy Washington


USA Board of Trustees Chair Pro Tempore Kenneth O. Simon, who was South's first African American Student Government Association president, and whose mother, Lavonne Simon, was USA's first African American graduate, will participate in a Feb. 6 forum as part of a series of events celebrating Black History Month. Simon was the keynote speaker at the Spring 2016 Commencement.  data-lightbox='featured'
USA Board of Trustees Chair Pro Tempore Kenneth O. Simon, who was South's first African American Student Government Association president, and whose mother, Lavonne Simon, was USA's first African American graduate, will participate in a Feb. 6 forum as part of a series of events celebrating Black History Month. Simon was the keynote speaker at the Spring 2016 Commencement.

“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”

- Carter G. Woodson, historian and father of Black History Month.

With the milestone of the African-American Student Association celebrating 50 years, the University of South Alabama is recognizing the achievements and legacy of several African-American alumni and former faculty during events commemorating the 2018 Black History Month. The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and several student organizations have planned events that will educate, inspire and entertain those attending.

“We will look back to celebrate those who have paved the way at South Alabama for African-Americans,” said Jarmora Valrie, director of OMSA. “Through the great history of this University, we have many who have experienced great achievements and left a powerful legacy. We are celebrating them throughout this Black History Month.”

The first event will be the Black Girls Rock Awards, recognizing former USA trustee Bettye R. Maye, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, in the Student Center Ballroom. It will also feature University trustee Margie Malone Tuckson as guest speaker. Tuckson is a 1973 graduate of USA’s Mitchell College of Business and has served as the chief financial officer for Tuckson Health Connections since 2013.

Tuckson is a member South Alabama’s National Alumni Association board of directors, serving on the finance committee. She is active with Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, a charter member of the Iota Nu City-Wide Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in Mobile, The LINKS, Hank and Billye Aaron Scholarship Fund, Leadership Mobile, Pre-School for the Deaf, along with numerous other organizations and Tuckson Health Connections Community Outreach Programs.

This year’s Soul Food Luncheon will be held at noon on Feb. 7 in the Student Center Ballroom, and the keynote speaker will be Dr. Terrell Strayhorn, founder/CEO of Do Good Work Educational Consulting, LLC. He was recently a faculty member at The Ohio State University, where he served as director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise and founding director of the Center for IDEAS within the College of Education and Human Ecology. In education, Strayhorn became one of the youngest full professors in Ohio State history in 2014.

He is known as an internationally recognized student success scholar, highly acclaimed public speaker and award-winning writer. In addition, his most popular book, “College Students’ Sense of Belonging: A Key to Educational Success,” has won a book award and sold record copies nationally.

Additional Black History Month events at South include:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 6, 6 p.m. Student Center Terrace: NAACP Forum, “Those That Paved The Way,” will feature chair pro tempore of USA Board of Trustees Kenneth O. Simon. Simon, a Birmingham attorney, is a native of Mobile. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from South in 1976. He later served as a circuit judge in Jefferson County, Ala. Also, A “Dear Students” Jaguar Productions Movie Night will be held at 6 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 7, Student Center: The facilitator for the Presidential Roundtable, which will take place at 11 a.m. in Room 211, is Dr. Terrell Strayhorn. In addition, Strayhorn will be the facilitator for the Advisor Roundtable to begin at 2 p.m. in the Student Center, Room 211. And Black History Jeopardy will be held later at 6 p.m. at the Student Center, Room 205. Please RSVP to OMSA for all events except the Black History Jeopardy.
  • Thursday, Feb. 8, 6 p.m.  Student Center Northeast Lobby: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and the African American Student Association will sponsor an evening of “Black Family Feud.” 
  • Wednesday, Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Student Center Mall: “Hug a Queer,” sponsored by Spectrum.
  • Thursday, Feb.15, 6:30 p.m. Student Center Ballroom: Women of Excellence holds New Member Induction Ceremony.
  • Saturday, Feb. 17, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Collegiate 100 Heritage Trail features “OMSA History Trail Luncheon,” departing the Faculty Club at 10:30 a.m. 
  • Sunday, Feb. 18, 3 p.m. Student Center Dining Hall: “Hour of Power” with the AASA Choir.
  • Monday, Feb. 19, 6 p.m. Student Center Ballroom: Collegiate 100 holds New Member Induction Ceremony.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 20, 6 p.m. Student Center Ballroom: Abeneefoo Kuo Honor Society holds New Member Induction Ceremony.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m. Student Center, Room 203: Thurgood Marshall movie presentation will be held, sponsored by the NAACP and AASA.
  • Thursday, Feb. 22, noon, Student Center Ballroom: Lunch will be held to honor AASA founder Dr. James Kennedy, retired faculty.
  • Friday, Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m., Student Center Ballroom: Hair Show starts at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 p.m. Hair Show and Expo sponsored by WOX, NPHC and SGA. The event features Battle of the Bands DJ winner Ole Yella bringing the music, along with Cumulus Broadcasting’s Amberly Harris, promotional manager.  Admission is $5.
  • Saturday, Feb. 24, noon, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Collegiate 100 Heritage Trail features “OMSA History Trail Luncheon,” departing the Faculty Club at 10:30 a.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 26, 6 p.m. Faculty Club: Black Faculty/Staff Association Meet & Greet
  • Tuesday, Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Student Center Terrace: “Open Mic Night”
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Student Center Mall: #BlackOutWednesday, and the JagROOTS Mentoring Program kickoff will be held later at the Student Center Terrace, 5 p.m.

If you need more information or need to RSVP for an event, call (251) 460-6894 or email omsa@southalabama.edu.


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