On Tuesday December 4, our host Aaron Perry speaks with Karla Spencer-George, who is hosting an event for Black History Month – the first annual Midwest Black History Expo in St. Paul, Minnesota. Karla, from Detroit, Michigan, graduated from Winston University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, with an emphasis on computer science. She worked as an engineer for twelve years until her company shut down in Minnesota: at this point, she and her husband decided start their own online business, Liberation Clothing and Gifts, which sells clothing, documentaries, and books to promote black history and culture.
Karla speaks about how she decided to start the Midwest Black History Expo, “last year, around this time, we were looking for an event to be a vendor at, where we could sell our merchandise that promotes black history and culture. In Minnesota, we did not find one major event that celebrated Black History Month. We thought, we need to make this happen, and try to do it big.”
Dr. Julianne Malveaux will be the keynote speaker at the event. The expo will also feature an African Americans or Black Inventions and Inventors Exhibit: the exhibit will feature inventions such as the ice cream scoop, instant potatoes, and more. There will also be a children’s room with face painting and story readings, an art competition, a fashion show and performers, a seminar room featuring talks by local professors, and a documentary showing room.
Karla explains her passion for organizing this expo, “Sometimes people don’t know what the opportunities are, and it is my responsibility along with those who are doing okay to try to help others. It’s always a matter of giving back.” She also speaks about how often, many students do not receive adequate education about black history, “My first African American history class was taken at the University of Minnesota. I [was] in the course with some people from Nigeria and other places, and it seemed like they got some of these courses much earlier than we did, and it was disappointing that I was learning so much about my history at the age of 18-19 years, when I thought I would be learning this growing up, or at least in junior high or high school. It’s one of those situations where we could help close that education achievement gap if our kids knew about our rich history and accomplishments that some of our ancestors made.”
Click here for more details.
Midwest Black History Expo
Minnesota/St. Paul Energy Center
175 West Kellogg Boulevard Ave.
Saturday February 23, 2013 | 10 AM – 7 PM
Listen to the entire interview here: