PANAMA CITY — Zenvoia Goss wants to form a Black student union organization to spread more diverse organizations at FSU Panama City.
In the meantime, the junior is excited her campus will offer the community a chance to learn more about Black history through art this week as part of Black History Month.
“We often don’t know the actual background of some things because everything’s always covered,” Goss said. “So bringing more people out to get to learn the history of the more positive aspects of African American history is important because we grow up learning about the bad things.”
Florida State University Panama City is kicking off its annual Black History Month celebration from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the St. Joe Community Foundation Lecture Hall at the Holley Academic Center, 4750 Collegiate Drive. It’s one of several events and celebrations around Bay County lined up throughout February to spread awareness with educational opportunities to learn more about African American history.
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The community is invited to attend Panama City FSU’s free cultural celebration featuring a presentation by Bernard, Shirley and Khalil Kinsey of the nationally recognized Kinsey African American Art & History Collection.
Irvin Clark, associate dean of Student and Strategic Initiatives, helped organize the event and said this is the perfect opportunity to learn about one of the world’s largest African American art collections.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to have someone of the caliber of the Kinseys, that can come and not only speak from an African American perspective but specifically from the perspective of African American art,” Clark said.
The collection shares stories of African Americans’ resilience, creativity and achievement spanning more than 400 years through paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, rare books and documents from influential leaders, including Frederick Douglass, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The Florida Department of Education has adopted the Kinsey Collection as the basis of the instruction of 3.6 million students on African American history. The Kinsey Collection will be at FSU Panama City from April 22 through July 17.
FSU Panama City has also announced its new Illumination series: Shedding Light on Diversity initiative highlighting diversity, equity and inclusion through a series of guest speakers over several months. The series will take place in the St. Joe Community Foundation Lecture Hall in the Holley Academic Center. All events are free and open to the public. View the full series list at pc.fsu.edu.
More Black History Month events
Out in the South: 1:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 5. Out in the South aims to educate and affirm the experiences of LGBTQ+ communities. Keynote speaker Jerry Watkins will discuss “LGBTQ+ History in the Panhandle.” Presentations also include “Religious Freedoms and What it Means for Equality” with the Rev. Fr. Rian Adams and “LGBTQ+ Health and Wellbeing” with Dr. Jonathan Applebaum, professor at FSU Tallahassee, followed by a concert with BeBe Deluxe of Jacksonville at 6:30 p.m. Part of Florida State University Panama City’s Illumination series.
PBS-POV “Mayor”: 2 p.m. Feb. 8. The Northwest Florida Regional Library System is partnering with FSU Panama City for the PBS-POV viewing of “Mayor” from David Osit, an Emmy Award-winning documentary film director. The film follows Musa Hadid, the Christian mayor of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority. Following the film, a two-person panel of local Palestinian individuals will engage in discussion. Part of Florida State University Panama City’s Illumination series.
Annual Signing of Black History Month Proclamation: 4 p.m. Feb. 1. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the annual Black History Month Proclamation celebration at the City Hall at 501 Harrison Ave. The program includes music, spoken word, speeches, recognitions and the signing of the proclamation. The Bay County Branch NAACP sponsors this event.
Lynn Haven’s Black History Month Reception: 3 to 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22. The reception will take place at the Lynn Haven Senior Center at 905 Pennsylvania Ave.
- Reception opens to the public
- Display of artwork from local schools
- Cake and beverages served
- Recognition of teachers and schools
- Announcing of winners of local school artwork
- Remarks by Mayor Jesse Nelson
- Remarks by City Manager Vickie Gainer
- Special guest U.S. Air Force Col. Nikki M. Mitchell, Lynn Haven native and 11th African American female to be named colonel
Panama City’s Black History Month Celebration: Noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 26. The community is invited to McKenzie Park at 501 Harrison Ave. to join the Black History Month Celebration. There will be food trucks, performances, shopping vendors, painters and kid-friendly activities.
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