Throughout February, Indiana University campuses will mark Black History Month with events, speakers, and programming that recognize African American achievements and celebrate Black history, culture, art, and leadership.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of Blacks in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating Black history.
“Indiana University is proud and excited to celebrate Black History Month as we recognize the Black experience and the importance that diversity and inclusion bring to the college experience,” said James Wimbush, IU vice president for diversity, equity, and multicultural affairs, dean of The University Graduate School, and the Johnson Chair for Diversity and Leadership. “The many activities planned on each of IU’s campuses are designed to both educate and honor the past as we prepare for the future.”
The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center (NMBCC), administered by the IU's Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs (OVPDEMA), serves as host for many of the events held during Black History Month on the IU Bloomington campus. The theme for this year’s celebration, “For the Culture,” symbolizes the contributions of Black people from around the world and here at Indiana University. This theme as a way to honor and celebrate the culture, beauty, creativity, intellect, and resilience of Black people everywhere. As one of the oldest Black culture centers in the nation, the NMBCC is proud to celebrate 50 years of power, progress, and promise.
This year’s events for Black History Month on the Bloomington campus include:
- NMBCC Black History Month Kick-Off: Black the Runway Art Exhibit and Fashion Show. A dual art exhibit by MFA student Larissa Danielle Smith and a “Black to the Runway” fashion show will kick off the month beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 in the NMBCC’s Bridgwaters Lounge and Grand Hall.
- “Environmental Social Justice Speaker Series Featuring Dr. Valerie Grim.” This lecture, co-hosted by the NMBCC and O’Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs Integrated Program for the Environment, features guest speaker Dr. Valerie Grim who will discuss Black agriculture, Black farmers, and the navigation of environmental social justice efforts. The event begins at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the NMBCC’s Bridgwaters Lounge.
IUPUI activities include:
- “Culture and Conversation: History and Place.” Urban archaeologist Paul Mullins will discuss the connection between the near west side and the IUPUI campus community from noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 11 in Fesler Hall.
IU East activities include:
- “James Pate Exhibit.” Artist James Pate, who uses his art to address several topics such as gun violence, will display his work throughout the day on Feb. 27 at Whitewater Hall.
IU Kokomo activities include:
- Black History Month Lunch and Learn. IU Kokomo Student Life will host two “Lunch and Learns” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 4 and 19 in KC130B.
IU South Bend activities include:
- (How) Can We Talk About Privilege? Belonging Speaker Series. As a part of its “Belonging Speaker Series,” the Titan Success Center will host a lecture on the issue of privilege from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 in the Fireside A Admissions Building.
- “Diversity in the African-American Community; Diversity in Action Series.” Hosted by the Titan Success Center as part of its “Diversity in Action Series,” this event includes a lecture on the African-American community and the diverse viewpoints of community members from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 27 in the Fireside A Admissions Building.
IU Southeast activities include:
- “Chris Singleton “Love is Stronger than Hate.” Former Chicago Cub and motivational speaker Chris Singleton discusses diversity, inclusion, race, adversity, and forgiveness from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 in the Ogle Center’s Stem Hall.
IU Northwest activities include:
- “INseparable Film Tour: Gary.” Five documentaries by five award-winning Indiana filmmakers will highlight urban and rural life, race, journalism, and the arts. Film screening begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Savannah Center’s Bergland Auditorium on March 6.
The vast majority of these events are open to the entire IU community. For more information about Indiana University's Black History Month celebrations, visit events.iu.edu.