Makuu: The Black Cultural Center

Makuu
Photo by Lauren Hertzler

Since its inception 15 years ago, Makuu: The Black Cultural Center has been considered students’ own “safe space” at Penn.

Located in the ARCH building on Locust Walk, Makuu is Penn’s center for student activities, ideas, outreach, and support linked to black culture and the African diaspora.

In the April edition of By The Numbers, the Current delves into some of the facts and figures of Makuu.

2000Year Makuu, which means “home” or “headquarters” in Kiswahili, was founded.
2Number of directors in Makuu’s history. Karlene Burrell-McRae served as Makuu’s first director during its first decade. Brian Peterson became its second director in 2011.
30Number of student organizations in the Umoja coalition. Makuu was created to support Umoja, an umbrella group of black student organizations.
300Number of custom #BlackExcellence T-shirts printed by the student-run business MADE and given out at Makuu’s 2015 Kwanzaa celebration, which invites the University and West Philadelphia communities to experience the rich cultural heritage of the African diaspora.
32Number of freshmen and sophomores currently in Makuu’s Paul Robeson and Anna Julia Cooper Scholars program. The program is for students interested in interdisciplinary culturally relevant social justice issues, such as urban education, health care, black feminism, and equitable opportunity distribution.
12Number of canvases in the mural project being completed by Arts Fellow Araba Ankuma, debuting in the Makuu living room this upcoming fall.
400+Books and films in the Makuu library for students and groups to borrow.

Originally published on .