As part of Indiana University's commitment to creating environments in which all students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed, the university is proud to honor the backgrounds and identities of the members of the community through heritage month celebrations. Supported by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA), IU's 2022 Black History Month (BHM) celebration includes various programming, including discussion panels, lectures, musical performances, and much more.
The vast majority of these events are open to the IU community and its neighbors. Everyone is encouraged to participate and learn more about the Black experience and its past, present, and future contributions to society.
The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center (NMBCC), administered by the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, serves as host for many of the events held during Black History Month on the IU Bloomington campus. This year's theme pays homage to the Black Church and the Black Church experience.
"We were talking about the Black History Month theme over the summer," Gloria Howell, director of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, said. "It was actually around Juneteenth, and we were brainstorming different ideas when we got on the topic of our own experiences in church and how much we missed it because of the pandemic. Then when we started thinking about a theme during the academic year, we kept coming back to it."
Howell stresses that the theme does not promote any particular religion or denomination but explores the historical and cultural roles the church has played in the Black experience. “We’re not trying to convince anyone to take hold of a particular denomination,” Howell said. "We simply want to celebrate aspects of the Black tradition that, when you think about it, transcends boundaries of denomination and religion. Things like community, family, love.”
NMBCC Black History Month kicks off with a virtual event at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 30. "Hats & Handkerchiefs" is a worship experience paying tribute to historically Black churches in Bloomington featuring a reunion of the IU gospel choir, Voices of Hope. Raymond Wise, director of the African American Choral Ensemble, will provide an inspirational message. Participants are encouraged to dress and take a photo in their "Sunday Best." Tag the NMBCC on Facebook and Instagram @nmbcc_iu or send the picture to email@example.com to be featured in a collage.
Additional events for Black History Month include:
- Book Club Series
- February 7 at 6:00 p.m. A special BHM meeting of the NMBCC Book Club where participants will discuss The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw.
- Black Table Talk
- February 9 at 12:00 p.m. This virtual event will feature a conversation between Dr. J. Kameron Carter, professor in the Department of Religious Studies, and Dr. Judith Rodriguez, assistant professor in the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies.
- The Black Church Mixtape
- February 11 at 7:00 p.m. This virtual listening party is in partnership with the Archives of African American Music and Culture.
- Black Knowledge Bowl
- February 16 at 6:30 p.m. A trivia competition with the Keith Parker Class of the Neal-Marshall Leadership Academy will test Black history and culture knowledge.
- Film Screening Amazing Grace
- February 22 at 4:00 p.m. In partnership with the Black Film Center/Archive, the screening will also feature a tour of the BFC/A and provide an opportunity to learn more about the staffs' commitment to preserving Black culture through media prior to the film.
Visit the IU calendar for more information about Indiana University Bloomington's Black History Month celebrations. And please be sure to visit the NMBCC's Black History Month webpage.
Additionally, please visit the IU Libraries Black History Month webpage for a list of research guides, playlists, and more.