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 Blog Post

Black History Month Events Held at SCI Mercer

Tags: Mercer
March 08, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Andrea Shiock

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To celebrate Black History Month each year, SCI Mercer's Activities Department coordinates special events weekly throughout the month of February.  Some of this year's popular events included:

February 2 - A concert by Blu Pi, a band famous for songs including:  Rock With You, Crazy, Superstition, Ribbon in the Sky, 24K, Treasure, Earn it, and Isn't She Lovely.

February 8 - Comedian Michael McDaniel from Detroit had the audience laughing and speaker Mark Weir who spoke on the topic, "We are more alike than different."

MER - 2019 Feb - Black History Month3.jpgFebruary 9 - The Inmate Activities Committee (IAC) raised funds by hosting the 4th Annual Polar Bear Walk.  Participating in this event helps the men experience and understand what others go through who may be without shelter in the winter coldness.  Once the walk was completed, the men warmed up in the gym and listened to speakers Albert Beinhardt, a current resident at Joshua's Haven, and John Swetz, the director of Joshua's Haven.  This year's event raised $300 for Joshua's Haven, which provides on-site temporary, emergency shelter for homeless men in the community.

February 15 - Bingo night, which is always a popular activity. 

February 20 - Paint night with munchies was held, which is another popular activity.

February 23 - Movie night in the gym, presenting the movies Venom and Night School.

February 28 - The inmate cast and crew of "The Shop," a three-act play written, produced and directed by SCI Mercer's Pastor Validia Giddens, performed to a crowd of 125.  The production gave the audience a historical perspective of African American MER - 2019 Feb - Black History Month4.jpgbarbershops in America and was based upon information extrapolated from the book, "Cutting Across the Color Line:  Black Barbers and Barbershops in America" by Quincy T. Mills.  The purpose of the play was to increase the audience's knowledge of the cultural contributions of African Americans.

March 7 - A rescheduled event was held with 64 men in attendance.  Wes Lyons, author and professional motivational speaker, was guest speaker at this event.  Drawing on his athletic background and book, "The Pursuit with Patience:  positivity, planning, and persistence," Lyons talked to the group about there being no impossible goals as long as you have the right attitude and tools to achieve them. 

During the month, the annual Black History Month Essay and Art Contests were held.  Participants could choose from four topics on Black History to write about and art submissions had to be related to Black History.  "Voted Best" in each is to be announced.

Educational movies were shown on the institutional TV channel as well, including:  Nelson Mandela:  Journey to Freedom; America's Black Warriors; Underground Railroad:  The William Still Story; A Fighting Force; The Black American Experience:  Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall, A History of Black Achievement in America; Slavery and the Making of America.

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