Black History Month Celebration Begins Wednesday
Syracuse University’s annual Black History Month celebration begins Wednesday, Feb. 1, with a kickoff event from 7-9 p.m. in the Schine Student Center Jabberwocky Café. The event will feature a soul food dinner provided through a collaboration between the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Schine Dining.
The month-long celebration includes performances, thought-provoking lectures and dialogues, art exhibitions, music and other events, with campuswide coordination led by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in partnership with many student organizations and University partners.
“We are excited to bring such an array of events and programs for this year’s Black History Month celebration. The students, faculty and staff who make up the planning committee are eager to engage the whole campus community in honoring and celebrating Black History Month,” says Cedric T. Bolton, coordinator of student engagement in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and chair of the planning committee.
This year’s commemorative speaker is Monique W. Morris, author and social justice scholar with more than 20 years’ experience in the areas of education, civil rights and juvenile and social justice. Morris is the author of “Too Beautiful for Words” (MWM Books, 2012); “Black Stats: African Americans by the Numbers in the Twenty-First Century” (The New Press, 2014); and most recently, “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools” (The New Press, 2016). Morris’ research intersects race, gender, education and justice to explore the ways in which Black communities and other communities of color are uniquely affected by social policies. Morris is a member of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) National Girls Initiative Expert Panel, the California Board of State and Community Corrections’ Committee on Reducing Racial and Ethnic Disparity and other workgroups designed to improve the education of children in contact with the criminal and juvenile legal systems. The lecture is on Wednesday, Feb. 8, in the Schine Student Center, Room 304 ABC, at 7 p.m.
One of the most highly anticipated events is the annual evening dinner and music celebration The Black Lounge. The Black Lounge is Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. in Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center. This year’s event will feature headliners Riff, an R&B vocal group from Paterson, New Jersey, who came together while teenagers attending Paterson’s Eastside High School. The ensemble sang in the 1989 film “Lean on Me,” which was based on events at Eastside High. The group scored several respectable hits, including three Billboard Hot 100 hits. Riff is currently putting the final touches on its EP titled “Back to the Future,” which is scheduled for release soon. The Black Lounge will also feature performances by ASV “On Fire for God,” Charity Luster and TANKSLEY, and music by DJ Maestro. Tickets for The Black Lounge are available now for $3 at the Schine Box Office.
Some additional events throughout the month include:
- Spring Reception/ Exhibition: “I, too, am American: A Song of Race and Language”: Friday, Feb.3-March 25, Community Folk Art Center Community Black Box Theatre
- Caribbean Student Association Banquet: Friday, Feb. 3, 6 p.m., Goldstein Auditorium, Schine Student Center
- The Douglas Biklen Landscape of Urban Education Lecture Series with Edward Brockenbrough: Thursday, Feb. 9, Maxwell Auditorium
- Black Girls Magic Art Panel: Thursday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m., Hergenhan Auditorium, Newhouse III
- Modern Dance Workshop with Tehmekah A. MacPherson: Saturday, Feb. 25, noon-3:30 p.m., Flanagan Exercise Studio
- Sankofa Lecture Series: Monday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m., Peter Graham Scholarly Commons (Room 114), Bird Library
“Through these events, we celebrate the rich and diverse backgrounds of Black people all over the world, and their struggle for freedom and equality,” says James Duah-Agyeman, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “I encourage the campus community to attend as many of these events as possible, especially the commemorative lecture with Dr. Monique Morris and The Black Lounge. I hope the lecture inspires us to create positive change in our personal and professional lives and excellence in all we do.”
For more information on Syracuse University’s Black History Month Celebration, including a complete list of events and programs, visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ website or contact Bolton at 315.443.9676.