To celebrate Black History Month, Albion Area Lifelong Learners (AALL) started a course on Feb 5. titled, “Celebrating Black History Month on the Bohm Screen.”
AALL was founded in 2000 with the goal of providing its members with lifelong learning and access to cultural events. Members of AALL must be 55 or older and pay a membership fee of $20 per year.
AALL offers three sessions a year in the months of February, May and October with each session offering five to six classes. February’s event marks the second time that AALL has had a class whose curriculum celebrates Black History Month.
Starting on Feb. 5., the Bohm showed the first of four films. The films were shown each Wednesday at 2 p.m. throughout the month of February. Curated by Executive Director of the Bohm, Nancy Doyle, the films highlight African Americans who progressed the American Civil Rights movement.
The first of these films, introduced by Albion College English professor, Nels Christensen, was “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution.”
“I asked the audience to keep one thing in mind and to keep an eye out for two other things,” said Christensen via email. “The thing to keep in mind: That the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was a political revolution. Their politics were socialist, anti-colonial, and stridently anti-capitalist. The Panthers believed that racism was a byproduct of capitalism. So, if you wanted to fight racism, you had to fight capitalism.”
Following that, “Toni Morrison: Pieces I Am,” premiered on Feb. 12. and “I Am Not Your Negro” premiered on Feb. 19. The final film, “Harriet,” is set to premiere on Feb. 26.
“There’s a lot we don’t know,” said AALL member, Martha O’Kennon. “ And it’s important in Albion, which has a lot of history, to know as much as possible.”