How Colleges Are Celebrating Black History Month in 2017
February is Black History month in the US, and colleges and universities across the country are marking this national observance month with events and educational opportunities throughout February to celebrate the history of black Americans.
Many colleges in the US are celebrating Black History Month with lecture series, film screenings, and more to educate students and community members. A number of colleges and universities also hold unique events tied to the institution’s history and own traditions.
Here are a few examples of unique Black History Month activities hosted by institutions in the US, including public, private, and historically black colleges and universities.
North Carolina A&T State University – 57th Sit-In Anniversary
North Carolina A&T State University, the largest historically black university in the nation, will begin black history month by celebrating the 57th anniversary of the “A&T Four” sit-in. NC A&T was at the forefront of the civil rights movement in the 60s, when four of the university’s freshmen sat at the lunch counter of Woolworth’s Five & Dime to protest segregation. This event “has been credited with igniting ‘sit-in’ demonstrations across the country, particularly by college students.”
University of Chicago – Black Heritage Celebration
At the University of Chicago, black history is celebrated for two months, with the start of the Black Heritage Celebration in January. Events and lectures are held throughout January and February, with the culmination of the series at the George E. Kent lecture. The annual George E, Kent lecture is put together by the university’s Organization of Black Students in honor of Dr. George E. Kent, “one of the earliest tenured African American professors at the University of Chicago. “
University of California – Berkeley – Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center Opening
This year Berkeley will celebrate Black History Month with the grand opening of the Fannie Lou Hamer Black Resource Center on Feb. 21. This center was created with the goal of providing “a safe convening environment, and will create space and opportunity for Black students and organizations to organize and engage in academic, social-cultural activities, leadership, community development and networking activities.”
Princeton University – Black History Month Book Drive
Every year the Black History Month Planning Committee and the Carl A. Fields Center for Equality and Cultural Understanding at Princeton University put together a series of events to commemorate Black History Month at the Ivy League institution. In addition to a number of lectures, discussions, and film screenings, the center also hosts a book drive for donations of children’s books featuring African American characters. The books are then donated and read to children at Every Child Valued Community Center in Lawrencville, NJ later in the month.
University of North Carolina – Black and Blue Tour
This month, UNC – Chapel Hill will be offering a walking tour of the university that focuses on the American-American history of the institution, led by a lecturer from UNC’s Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies.
Black History Month is an important observance in the US and provides a number of opportunities for students at colleges and universities across the country to learn about the history of African Americans in the US and engage in thoughtful and informed discussion. To learn more about Black History Month, click here.
To learn about colleges involved with key events in history, including the Civil Rights movement, check out our list here. To learn more about historically black colleges and universities, read our feature here.
How do you plan to celebrate Black History Month? What events are going on at your school or in your community? Tell us in the comments below!