Wagner College is proud to announce our month of programming designed to celebrate and recognize the rich contributions of African Americans. Nationally, February is designated as Black History Month, our nation's way of showing recognition for the hard work of and sacrifices made by African Americans.
Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson is credited with creating Black History Week nearly a century ago. The event was first celebrated during the second week of February 1926, because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln (February 12) and abolitionist/writer Frederick Douglass (February 14). That week would continue to be set aside until 1976 when, as part of the nation’s bicentennial, it was expanded to include the entire month. Since then, U.S. presidents have proclaimed February as National African American History Month.
In a speech by Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, he said, "Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history, or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington, or from some of our sports heroes. It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America. It’s about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go."
During these 28 (or 29) days dedicated to honoring Black History Month, the Black History Month committee and several departments on campus will host a series of events to celebrate and engage our community in important discourse and thoughtful reflections.
Calendar of Events
Black History Events and Programs
|Events and Programs||Date|
|Black History Month Jeopardy Night||Wednesday, February 24|
|Black Professional Alliance Alumni Happy Hour||Wednesday, February 24|
|MLK Agent of Change Award Ceremony||Thursday, February 25|
|Black History Month Read Aloud||Thursday, March 4|
|BSU Present’s Wagner Wednesday||Wednesday, March 10|
|Black History Month Scholar Lecture Series||Tuesday, March 16|
|BSU Present’s Paint and Sip Night||Friday, March 19|
|Debating for Democracy: Mass Incarceration and Systemic Racism||Tuesday, March 30|
Click on the link for a virtual art exhibition by Clifford Thompson sponsored by the Department of Visual Arts.
Learn more about Clifford Thompson.
Below you will find other events supported by the Black History Committee:
|The Artist as Holocaust Heroine: Friedl Dicker-Brandei||Wednesday, February 24|
|Open Mic Poetry with Guest Poet, L. Ash Williams||Thursday, March 18|
Black History Month Committee
The Black History Month Committee is a campus-wide committee chaired by Dr. Rita Reynolds and the Black Student Union co-presidents. The committee includes representatives from across campus who are striving to create a collaborative calendar of events intended to celebrate, engage in thoughtful discourse and raise awareness of the accomplishment of African Americans in the broader U.S. context.
Below are the current member of the Black History Month Committee:
- Dr. Rita Reynolds, Associate Professor and Chair of History, Expand Your Horizons (EYH) Faculty Advisor
- Dr. Alison Arant, Associate Professor of English and Department Chair
- Dr. Ange Concepcion, Assistant Dean of Campus Life
- Sebastian Rametta, Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Activities
- Nicole Ntumba, Area Coordinator of Office of Residential Education
- Desiree Braithwaite, Assistant Director of Central Service Department and Advisor of BSU
- Leticia Romero, Office Manager of the Dean of Campus Life Office
- Uterika Laguerre, Co-President of BSU
- Steven Inniss, Co-President of BSU