Penn State student organizations and units at campuses across the Commonwealth will be holding events in honor of Black History Month. Here’s a look at some of the events taking place at the University’s campuses during the month of February.
This list will be updated as events are added throughout the month; the University community is invited to send diversity and inclusion events for consideration to [email protected].
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY PARK
“Race and Revolution: Still Separate, Still Unequal,” a traveling exhibition of contemporary artwork and historical documents exploring the ongoing issue of school segregation in the United States, even after the milestone court case in 1954 that ruled segregation unconstitutional, is jointly sponsored by Woskob Gallery and the HUB Galleries. Jan. 29 through April 6, Woskob Gallery, downtown State College; and the HUB Galleries on campus.
Penn State will host a national symposium on higher education, “Envisioning Racial Equity on College Campuses: Bridging Research-to-Practice Gaps for Institutional Transformation.” Feb. 7-9, Hyatt Place State College.
The exhibit "African American Literacies and The Underground Railroad" examines the multiple literacies of African-American slaves in their flight to freedom through The Underground Railroad, as represented in the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora. Feb. 11 through March 15, first-floor Pattee Library, mall entrance case.
The Penn State chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host “The Beauty of Blackness,” the first annual NAACP All-White Affair, featuring dinner, performances and speakers in honor of Black History Month. Tickets are free, but required; the University community is invited to attend. For more information, contact Raenika Crew, NAACP chapter president, at [email protected]. Feb. 14, 6-8 p.m., Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center.
"Talking About Class" invites faculty and staff to explore their class identities and engage in cross-class dialogue in a highly interactive conversation and reflection on how class dynamics play out here at the University and what strategies faculty and staff can pursue to make Penn State more equitable for students. This workshop will be led by two facilitators from Class Action and is sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity. Registration is requested. Feb. 19, 2:30-4:30 p.m., Food Science Building, Room 252.
“Before the Human: Africans, Sovereigns & Slaves” will be presented by Herman Bennett, history professor at City University of New York. Sponsored by the Department of African American Studies. Free and open to the public. Feb. 21, 6-7:30 p.m., 160 Willard Building.
"Jazz in the Attic" will feature a town-gown collaboration for Black History Month with a concert by the Urban Fusion Jazz Band. The band's members include Penn State alumni Andrew Jackson, Gary Abdullah and David Vactor; Associate Professor of Math Chris Byrne; and Chip Lovett and Jeff Gibble. Ticket information. Feb. 22, 8 p.m., in the Attic at the State Theatre, downtown State College.
The Penn State Caribbean Student Association presents the 42nd Annual Caribbean Experience, "The Essence of the Isles," showcasing the food, culture, music, performances and fashion of the Caribbean and the different countries of the West Indies. The event is ticketed and open to the public. Feb. 23, doors open 5 p.m.; show begins 6 p.m., Alumni Hall, HUB-Robeson Center.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Student Committee will be bringing to campus the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, a collection of over 7,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave-trade era to hip-hop culture. Founder and curator Khalid el-Hakim has been called the "Schomburg of the Hip-Hop generation" because of his passionate commitment to carry on the rich tradition of the Black Museum Movement. The event is free and open to the public. Feb. 26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center.
The Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa (AESEDA) and the Africana Research Center are sponsoring a Black History Month Research Poster Symposium: Celebrating Black Excellence in Research. Students, staff, postdocs and faculty from all colleges across the University are welcome to attend. For more information, contact [email protected]. Feb. 27, 2-4 p.m., Alumni Fireside Lounge, Nittany Lion Inn.
PENN STATE ALTOONA
The annual African American Read-In at Penn State Altoona will take place Feb. 10–11. This year’s theme is Afrofuturism. Afrofuturist writers work within and across the genres of speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy and magic realism in stories featuring black people as the heroes, explorers, and creators of the future. Afrofuturist literature pushes the boundaries of the real in order to re-imagine the possible.
PENN STATE BERKS
The True Black History Museum, a traveling Black history exhibit with artifacts dating from the late 1700s to the 21st century, was established to preserve the history of African American people and to provide information on the many great contributions that African Americans have made. Feb. 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.
"A Tribute to the African American Journey,” a lecture by True Black History Museum founder Fred Saffold II, will take the audience through the African-American experience utilizing the artifacts in the exhibit and explaining the significance of these artifacts the present day. Feb. 8, 12:15 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.
“Being Black at Berks, A Cultural Showcase of Black Culture,” hosted by the Black Student Union and Berks Diversity Committee. The evening will include various forms of spoken word poetry, hair and fashion shows, a performance by the Berks Step Team, and light refreshments. Feb. 8, 5 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.
“The Wailing Women” by William Grant Still and “Symphony in E Minor” by Florence Price, will be performed by the Penn State Berks Campus Choir, Vox Philia Chamber Choir, Berks Sinfonietta and the Lincoln University Concert Choir. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for students. More information. Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., Immanuel United Church of Christ, 99 South Waverly Street, Shillington, Pennsylvania.
Aneesah Smith, social justice and LGBTQ activist, will present a lecture. More information. Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.
PENN STATE BRANDYWINE
Penn State Brandywine will host a talk by Michael Africa Sr. and Debbie Africa, onetime members of the black liberation group MOVE, and Michael Africa Jr., their son. Feb. 28, noon-1:30 p.m., Student Union.
PENN STATE DUBOIS
Baltimore-based NAZU African Dance and Drum Co. will present a performance in honor of Black History Month. Sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement; free and open to the public. Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Hiller Auditorium.
PENN STATE GREATER ALLEGHENY
Student poets will open for headliner and spoken-word artist Rudy Francisco in a spoken-word poetry slam, Greater Allegheny’s signature event for Black History Month. The event is free and open to the public. Feb. 20, 6 p.m., Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center.
PENN STATE HARRISBURG
Penn State alumnus Guion Bluford Jr., the first African-American astronaut, will present a lecture, "STEM Forward: Minorities in Engineering," sponsored by the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology in partnership with the National Society of Black Engineers – Penn State Harrisburg Chapter. Feb. 7, 6:15 p.m.-8 p.m., Mukund S. Kulkarni Theatre, Student Enrichment Center.
To celebrate Black History Month and highlight African-American authors, the Office of Student Life and Intercultural Programs will host an African-American Read-In on campus. The campus community is invited to listen to the literary works of African-American writers read by student, faculty and staff members. Feb. 12, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Russell E. Horn Sr. Spiritual Center, Student Enrichment Center (Room 210).
The True Black History Museum, a traveling exhibit with artifacts dating from the late 1700s to the 21st century, was established to preserve the history of African-American people and to provide information on the many great contributions that African Americans have made. Feb. 28, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Morrison Gallery (Library).
"A Tribute to the African American Journey,” a lecture by True Black History Museum founder Fred Saffold II, will take the audience through the African-American experience utilizing the artifacts in the exhibit and explaining the significance of these artifacts the present day. Feb. 28, 12:15 p.m., Morrison Gallery (Library).
PENN STATE HAZLETON
A program, “Painting with Poets,” will feature poems, lyrics and spoken word, by 20th- and 21st-century African-American artists. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the program by listening to the artists’ work and then creating their own paintings and sketches inspired by their observations. Feb. 6, 7-8 p.m., South Hall lounge.
Office of Student Engagement will host The True Black History Museum. Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., lobby of the Evelyn Graham Academic Building.
The curator of the exhibit The True Black History Museum (see below Feb. 27 event), Fred Saffold, will offer a presentation. Lunch will be provided. Feb. 27, 12:20-1:15, Black Box Theater of the Slusser/Bayzick Building.
PENN STATE LEHIGH VALLEY
Penn State Lehigh Valley will host The True Black History Museum, a traveling Black History exhibit with artifacts dating from the late 1600s to the 21st century, and founder Fred Saffold. Free and open to the public. Feb. 6,10 a.m.-4 p.m., Centre Hall.
PENN STATE MONT ALTO
Take a journey through the African-American experience with The True Black History Museum, which includes over 1,000 authentic artifacts and original documents from historic figures dating from the late 1700s to the 21st century. Feb. 4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Multipurpose Activities Center (MAC).
PENN STATE DICKINSON LAW
The Black Law Students Association will host activist Maj Toure, founder of the movement “Black Guns Matter,” will discuss the movement and its position on second amendment rights and responsibilities. Feb. 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 112 Lewis Katz Hall.
The Black Law Students Association will host Phillip Roundtree, who will discuss the impact of profession-related stressors on practitioners’ mental health and the importance of self-care, and share recommendations to improve wellness-related outcomes. Feb. 12, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 112 Lewis Katz Hall.
The Black Law Students Association will host Kendall D. Isaac, general counsel for Dickinson College, will speak about expanding the view of social justice to be inclusive of firm and in-house counsel work on Monday, Feb. 25, as part of Black History Month. Feb. 25 12:30 p.m., Room 112 Lewis Katz Hall.
PENNSYLVANIA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
“African-American History on Wheels” will exhibit a unique collection of inventions by African-American inventors. Free and open to the public. Feb. 6 and 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Madigan Library.
Enjoy live music and great food at the annual Soul Food Dinner. Students may use their Board meal plans, and limited free tickets can be picked up at the Campus Center Information Desk for off-campus and commuter students. This event is open to the public; cost is $12. Feb. 20, 5-8 p.m., CC Commons, Bush Campus Center.
“Diversi-tea” Dialogue: Community peer educator-run conversation groups for students, the dialogues explore topics relating to diversity and cultural life on campus. This month's discussion will focus on black poets and their works. Feb. 26, 2:30 p.m. Bush Campus Center, CC/105C.
Movie Night celebrating Black History Month: Free food, free entertainment, and lots of prizes are offered; sponsored by the Community Peer Educators and the Wildcat Events. Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Student & Administrative Services Center, Presentation Room.
PENN STATE YORK
African American Trivia: This trivia contest will test students’ knowledge of African American writers, politicians, civil rights leaders, media and scientists — past and present. This event will take place during Coffee Hour on campus, a time for the campus community to socialize and learn new things. Feb. 7, 4-6 p.m., Conference Center, Main Classroom Building.
Open Mic/Poetry: Students will share their favorite poems by African American authors and their own poetry and rap creations. This event will takes place during Coffee Hour on campus, a time for the campus community to socialize and learn new things. Feb. 21, 4-6 p.m., Conference Center, Main Classroom Building.
Visit to African American Museum in Philadelphia: The Black Student Union (BSU), a student organization on campus, and Global Programs at Penn State York are sponsoring a trip to the African American Museum in Philadelphia. The trip will include domestic and international students. Members of the BSU will guide students through the museum to provide a personal glimpse of this important part of American history. Saturday, March 23, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.