Black History Month Breakfast to Celebrate African American History, Art & Culture

San Bernardino Valley College is turning the fashion runway back in time to the Harlem Renaissance up through the age of hip-hop and the many steps in between at this year's Black History Month Breakfast & Fashion Show. On Friday, February 9, San Bernardino Valley College is inviting the community to enjoy the free event, 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in Campus Center.

Students walk the catwalk in last year's Fashion ShowGuests will take in an eclectic mix to appreciate the evolution of fashion and music against its historical influences. Students will revisit the high points that made the Harlem Renaissance a hub of creativity and success.

Kathy Kafela, vice president of the SBVC Black Faculty, Staff, and Administrators Association, said students have taken full ownership of the fashion show. On the catwalk, they are also strutting important political concepts, and representing different eras of awakening, starting with ragtime up through the Black Power Movement and hip-hop activism.

“We're inviting the community to come and enjoy breakfast and see our students, and it has a whole historical narrative,” said Kafela, who is coordinating the event along with STEM Counselor Daniele Ramsey.

To help pull off the fashion show, Macy's has donated clothes, and the morning's guests will settle down to a delicious, free breakfast and entertainment, co-hosted by SBVC's Black Faculty, Staff and Administrators Association and the college’s Student Equity division. Students from the college’s Tumaini program also pulled together the lineup, along with the Harlem Renaissance theme against a backdrop of music and narrative by African American History Professor Sandra Blackman.

The event draws on the high points of social and cultural transformations. Students modeling on the runway are also successful participants in Umoja Tumaini campus programs, including an African American history and a student development class.

“As part of the African American history class, we wanted to tie some of the things they're learning into an experiential activity. We thought it would be neat to start at the Harlem Renaissance and come up to current times,” Kafela said.

 Kafela also said one of the students featured is an avid painter and will have some paintings in the background, while several other students will perform spoken word in between the scenes. "We've integrated all of those wonderful artistic kinds of things even within the fashion show,” she said.

The event’s keynote speaker is A. Majadi, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Bernardino.

"I think he's really turned the Boys and Girls Club around, and we just honor the work that he does and what he stands for,” she said. “We just want to honor the brother for the work that he's doing and the fight he keeps fighting.”