Black History Month Events and Programs

About Black History Month

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.

Black History Month 2024 Events

Events sponsored by: Athletics, Center for Intercultural Advancement, Dean’s Office, Career Development, English Department, History Department, Nicolais School of Business, Provost’s Office, Wagner College Band, Wagner College Holocaust Center


Date/Time: February 1st | 11 am-1 pm

Location: Union Atrium

To commemorate the start of Black History Month, join students, faculty, and staff as they display their favorite pieces of black history, music, art, literature, and culture. We urge everyone to come by and join us in celebration.

Date/Time: February 12th | 7 pm

Location: Manzulli Boardroom

Dr. Lillie Johnson Edwards, former founding Director of Pan-African Studies and Director of American Studies at Drew University presents a talk based on the late Gabrielle Simon Edgcomb’s book, From Swastika to Jim Crow (1993), and the documentary film of the same title, directed by Lori Cheatle and Martin Toub (2000). Her presentation will tell the story of the Jewish refugee scholars who fled Nazi Germany and found positions at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the American South.  Her talk connects anti-Semitism and racism in the U.S. and Europe. Rev. Judy Brown will offer reflections on HBCUs and leadership.

Date/Time: February 13th | 6:30 pm-7:45 pm

Location: Spiro 2

Dr. Peggy Brunache is a lecturer in Public History and Archaeology at the University of Glasgow and serves as the founding Director of the Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies. Born in Miami to Haitian parents, she trained and worked as a historical archaeologist/food historian with a focus on plantation studies, the African diaspora, and the transatlantic slave trade, working on archaeological projects in Benin, West Africa, Guadeloupe, and various sites in the United States. Dr. Brunache earned her doctorate from the University of Texas. She is a founding member of the European Society of Black and Allied Archaeologists (ESBAA). Many of her public-facing projects include designing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and working with theatre, science, and culture festivals.  Her international media appearances include the Discovery Science Channel, BBCTV, ITV, and television documentaries in the US and Germany.

Date/Time: February 21st | 4:20 pm

Location: Manzulli Boardroom

Dr. Todd Craig is the author of “K for the Way”: DJ Rhetoric and Literacy for 21st Century Writing Studies, which examines the Hip Hop DJ as a twenty-first-century new media reader and writer and investigates the modes and practices of the DJ as creating the discursive elements of DJ rhetoric and literacy. Dr. Craig has taught courses in English Composition and Rhetoric, Hip Hop Studies and African American Studies within the City University of New York since 2003. Presently, Craig is Associate Professor of African American Studies at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) and also teaches at the Graduate Center, CUNY. He teaches courses on writing, rhetoric, African American Studies, and Hip Hop Studies.

Time: 6:30PM

Location: Manzulli Boardroom

Join Career Connections for a panel discussion with professionals regarding their experiences of workplace diversity.

Date/Time: February 21st | 8 pm

Location: Union 201

Join Wagner College’s Black Student Union to play Black History Month Jeopardy!

Date/Time: February 22nd | 5:30 pm Manzulli Boardroom

Location: Manzulli Boardroom

The ceremony will recognize student honorees and student organizations for their work in the Wagner community as positive change agents.

Date/Time: February 26th | 9 pm

Location: Spiro 4


Come and watch the 2023 film “The Color Purple”.

Presented by the Center for Intercultural Advancement and Student Engagement and Activities

Date/Time: February 29th | 5 pm

Location: Union Atrium

Swing by the Wagner Union Atrium to hear our Jazz Band play music from prominent black jazz artists throughout history led by Dr. Jose Luis Diaz Jr.


Antium Font. Textbooks available on Reserve