SRU offers Feb. 9 ‘Black Mona Lisa’ body image discussion


black mona lisa

Illustration by Tyler Sing, junior art major from Pittsburgh

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's Black History Month Program will offer a discussion on body image and media portrayals of black women during "Black Mona Lisa: Black Women Body Issues" at 6 p.m., Feb. 9, in 320 Smith Student Center.

"This program will discuss black women body image and how they can learn to embrace their curves," said Corinne Gibson, director of SRU's Office of Multicultural Development. "Its purpose is to reflect on the beauty of black women in all shapes and sizes and to denounce the negative images and portrayals of black women throughout history and in the social media."

DeWayne Anderson, a student affairs in higher education graduate student from Harrisburg who works as graduate assistant for the multicultural office, said the discussion will include historical context.

"We are connecting the discussion from a history standpoint about how black women, during the slavery period, would be sexually abused because of their bodies," he said. "In today's world, we have young black women getting unhealthy procedures to erase their curves. The discussion is focused towards young African-American women, but anyone is welcomed."

SRU's Black History Month includes more than 10 programs and events through Feb. 28. The theme is "Remember and Reclaim." The program focuses on past Civil Rights accomplishments while offering insights on issues still being felt across the country, such as police brutality against blacks, media profiling and economic inequality.

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