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Campus community honors Black History Month with Marshall screening

Faculty and staff gathered to celebrate Black History Month with a community luncheon and an afternoon screening of the 2017 film Marshall on Feb. 14.

Based on a true story, Marshall follows future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall as he defends a man against criminal assault allegations in 1940s Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The film received a 2018 Academy Award® nomination in the category Best Original Song for “Stand Up for Something,” composed by Diane Warren and Common. The song has become something of an anthem for social justice, embraced and adopted by #MeToo, #TimesUp, the ACLU, and the National Women’s Law Center.

Marshall is an empowering and entertaining film, and a film we need right now,” said Kerri Thompson Tillett, TCNJ’s chief diversity officer. “The takeaway is that individual acts can impact larger issues.”

Black History Month is an annual celebration of the achievements of African Americans, and recognizes the role African Americans have played in U.S. history. The concept for the observance was initiated by noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans during in 1926, and since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February—the birth month of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass—as Black History Month.

“Our goal is for our campus to have an awareness of who we are collectively, which includes honoring the past,” said Don Trahan, Jr., director of TCNJ’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. “This is the only way we can focus on the future as we work to model inclusive excellence.”

The screening was sponsored by TCNJ’s Office of Institutional Diversity.