Black History Month, celebrated annually in February, recognizes the history, culture, achievements and contributions of African Americans and their role in U.S. history. The celebration was designed to be held in February to coincide with the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and was known as Negro History Week. Due to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s and increased awareness of the importance of African American history, the celebration expanded to a full month in the United States by the 1970s. Every U.S. president since 1976 has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Today, other countries, including Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
Events to be held during Black History Month at UNC Pembroke include:
- A sampling of African American foods will be served in the dining hall in the Chavis University Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
February 14-18 (MLK Week)
- View MLK Week events.
- Join us for “Black Hair Care: A Historical Overview” from 5-6 p.m. in the University Center Annex.
- The Caribbean Student Union is sponsoring a panel discussion about colorism titled “Color is Beyond Skin Deep” at 6 p.m. in Old Main 124 (Office of Student Inclusion & Diversity).
- Civil Rights, Black Power, Social Justice, and African American historian and scholar Dr. Jakobi Williams will present virtually at 6 p.m. Dr. Williams most recent book, From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago, was the foundation for the script to the multi-Oscar award winning Warner Brothers film, Judas and the Black Messiah. His presentation is titled “Connections to Current Trends: Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton, the Black Panther Party, and Racial Coalition Grassroots Activism.” In 1968, The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party established the Original Rainbow Coalition under the leadership of Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton. This history of racial coalition grassroots activism during the Black Power movement was revolutionary and significantly impacted social services, politics, and public policy. Unfortunately, many of the issues that plagued poor and oppressed communities in the past are still critical issues inundated in numerous poor and underserved communities today. Many groups and organizations today, mostly led by youth, are continuing the racial coalition grassroots activism of the Panther's Original Rainbow Coalition in our current context. Attend Dr. Williams’ presentation virtually here.
- The Black Culture Fest will be held in the University Center Annex from 12-2 p.m. Come enjoy and learn more about Black food, music, poetry, and other aspects of Black history and culture.
- Watch a recorded video titled “Music of Black History” which details the history of Black music in the United States, including performances from the genres of the Negro Spiritual, Blues, Jazz, and Gospel. Meet in Old Main 124 (Office of Student Inclusion & Diversity) at 4 p.m.
- How is your knowledge of Black history and culture? Test it out during the Black Trivia Contest, to be held at 6 p.m. in Dial 225.
- The virtual African American Read-In will be held from 8:15 a.m.-3:45 p.m. Join virtually here.
- Best-selling author, activist, and former South Carolina representative Bakari Sellers will appear at 7 p.m. at the Givens Performing Arts Center as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. Sellers, who at 22, defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina state legislature in 2006. He made history that year, becoming the youngest African American elected official. Learn more about his visit.
- Jasmine D’Avilar, founder of Stand Up! Mankato, will speak from 4:30 – 6 p.m. George Floyd’s murder compelled D’Avilar to use her voice, hold space for victims of police brutality, and assist in creating an anti-racist society. What started as nightly demonstrations on the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Mankato while observing 8 minutes and 46 seconds of silence, turned into an active community ready for necessary action. D’Avilar will discuss how she was thrown into leading a local movement as a Black Queer woman, and the trials and tribulations of trying to create change in rural Minnesota. Her talk is titled “Bridging Hope in Rural Minnesota.” Join us virtually here.
- Join us for a town hall discussion of the Voting Rights Act from 5:30-7 p.m. in Dial 225. The Voting Rights Town Hall will feature a discussion of the recent voting rights bills that were blocked by U.S. Senate Republicans and the impact of this block on voters of color across the United States. This discussion will also highlight recent laws passed in 19 states that advocacy groups argue will make it harder for marginalized voters and 25 states that have sought to expand voter access.
Black History Month activities are sponsored by the Office of Student Inclusion & Diversity, the Black History Month Committee, the Black Student Union, Campus Engagement & Leadership, the Caribbean Student Union, the School of Education and Sodexo.
For more information about Black History Month and other diversity awareness programming at UNC Pembroke, please visit BraveConnect or contact the Office of Student Inclusion and Diversity at 910.521.6508 or email@example.com.