UHart Celebrates Black History Month

February 01, 2023
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication
Black History Month image

This February for Black History Month, the campus community is invited to participate in celebrating the history and honoring the identities and cultures of Black and African Americans through a series of programs, discussions and events.We encourage everyone to explore further resources to expand their own learning and understanding of the experiences of Black and African Americans.

The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, in conjunction with the Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion, President’s College, and Harrison Libraries, challenges you to attend these programs and events as we learn together.

Black History Month Kickoff and Annual MLK Observance Program: Wednesday, February 1, from 12:45-2 p.m. in Lincoln Theater. Featuring speaker Rosa Alicia Clemente, performances by the Hartt Saxophone Ensemble, UHart Gospel Choir, a UHart poet, and students from the University of Hartford Magnet School, and the presentation of the 2023 MLK Beloved Community Awards.

Presidents’ College course, February 1, 8, and 15, from 7-8:15 p.m. “How Black and Latino Players Inspired the Golden Age of Baseball, 1947-1974. This course will chronicle the entry of Black and Latino players in the Major Leagues following Jackie Robinson’s first season in 1947.  Although it would be 12 years until the last team, the Boston Red Sox, added a Black player to its roster, the 27-year period between Robinson’s breaking of the Gentleman’s Agreement that barred Black players from the game and Curt Flood’s unsuccessful challenge to the reserve clause that bound players to their clubs in perpetuity provided many of the most talented players ever to play the game the opportunity to bring their skills to National Pastime. The game, as a result, would never be the same after players like Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Ernie Banks, Roy Campanella, Roberto Clemente, and Bob Gibson inspired young and old people alike to embrace a new game of power, speed, and grace. And all of this happened against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement that changed America forever. Course led by Walter Harrison, president emeritus, and the Presidents' College via Zoom. 

Voices of Black Trans People panel discussion, February 8 at 12:45 p.m., GSU 335 (Simsbury Room). In alignment with our commitment to foster a vibrant, diverse, and inclusive community, we recognize the impact of intersectionality. As part of the Creating Visibility and Belonging series, join us to engage in thought-provoking conversation and hear from Black transgender people as they share first-hand experience and perspective. Together, we will learn to be better allies and accomplices to inspire action on and off campus. Moderator, Llonia Rojan Jackson.

Some Blues, Some Jazz, and Soul Food, February 10 at 5:30 p.m., Konover Center, hosted by Leonard Epps ’90. Immerse yourself and be transported to the atmosphere of a jazz cafe as we celebrate Black History Month with music, poetry, and amazing food. Learn about three art forms that embody Black culture: “Blues, Jazz, and Soul Food.” Sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion.

The Divine Nine: Defined and DemystifiedFebruary 15 at 6:30 p.m. Join the OSEI for a discussion about Black Greek life…defined and demystified! Hear from members of the “Divine Nine” to learn about the history, culture, and important impact Black Greek Letter organizations make in the community. For over 100 years, Divine Nine organizations—sororities and fraternities—have provided community, networking, philanthropy, and leadership to undergraduate and graduate students during college and beyond. Moderator, Llonia Rojan Jackson, Wilde Auditorium. 

A Read-In For Black History Month, February 16 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Harrison Libraries. On February 16, 1960, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., engaged a crowd of students and community members at White Rock Baptist Church inDurham, North Carolina. The impetus of the speech, “A Creative Protest,” was to celebrate the efforts of the students’ efforts to peacefully protest the segregated lunch counters near their college campuses. He leaves them with the following encouraging words: “…remember that both history and destiny are on your side. All the stars in their course are supporting you. Go out with the attitude that God is with us, and we have cosmic companionship. And one day, historians of this era might be able to say, there lived a great people, a black people who injected new meaning into civilization.” As King notes through his speech, students and young people are the heart of many social justice movements’ success. Uplifting and elevating the voices of young people is important to inspiring action. Sharing with them lessons of the past—and the perspectives of their contemporaries—is just as important. Join us at the Harrison Libraries for a Black History Month Read-In! Featuring works from a host of writers representing the African Diaspora, we hope that some of the powerful words from generations past and present speak to and encourage you. Feel free to choose passages from the books available at the event or bring your own selections to share. The event will be hosted by Dr. Markeysha Davis, assistant Professor of Literature and Africana Studies and chair of the Africana Studies program. It is cosponsored by the Harrison Libraries, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement and the Presidents' College with Markeysha Davis PhD. Refreshments will be served.

Creating Visibility and Belonging for the Black/African American Community, February 20 at 12:45 p.m. Panel discussion, Shaw Center. Join us as we hear from a panel of UHart staff and faculty on how they create visibility and belonging on campus. They will share unique perspectives on what visibility means, and how and why it can affect a sense of belonging. This program is part of a year-long series of conversations about “Creating Visibility and Belonging” in our campus community, as we strive to foster a more inclusive UHart, where people of all identities may experience a sense of belonging.

“What Does Your Activism Look Like?” February 22, 12:45 p.m., Shaw Center. Student Panel. Listening and learning is the first step toward actively engaging in activism. A panel of UHart students will provide insight into what it means to be an activist, and how young people can engage in activism to create meaningful change in their communities. The panel will also highlight the importance of young people taking charge of movements in society with resilience and hard work. Moderator, Kristen Valentine, MLK Student Committee Member.

Annual BSU Fashion Show: “The Palette, February 25 at 6 p.m., Lincoln Theatre. Tickets will be available at the box office. All proceeds go to the BSU Book Fund.