Full month of events on tap for Black History Month

Through a diverse lineup of plays, lectures, panel discussions and other events, the university community will focus on the Black family.

Feb. 2, 2021
Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212, mccunee@missouri.edu

“Dance, Dance the Revolution is Televised” is the featured image for 2021 MU Black History Month Committee. The art is a piece from Jessica Thornton, an assistant professor in the School of Visual Studies in the College of Arts and Science.

From explorations of Black joy to Blackness in the Americas and the diaspora, this month the University of Missouri will take a deep dive into Black culture and Black history during its celebration of Black History Month. The theme for this year’s series of plays, lectures, panel discussions and other events is “Black Families: Representation, Identity, Inclusion, Diversity, and Histories.”

“This year’s theme of ‘Black Families’ is particularly relevant as we consider what the twin pandemics of racism and COVID-19 have done to ravage our families,” said April Langley, chair of the Department of Black Studies in the College of Arts and Science, interim chair of English and a member of the 2021 MU Black History Month Committee. “We hope that Black History Month will contribute to and enhance Mizzou’s commitment to a more welcoming MU community, one that fosters respect, responsibility, discovery and inclusive excellence in its programming, and a spirit of collaboration and sharing of the very best intellectual and creative work in our respective areas of expertise.”

A complete list of events, including livestream details, can be found online. Some highlights of the month include:

  • Mizzou New Play Series including I’ll be Seeing You, by Abby Land — 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6
  • Blackness from the Americas and the Diaspora Panel Discussion — 5-6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19
  • Black History Month Keynote by Ilyasah Shabazz: “Malcolm X Day: The Black Family” — 6-7:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22
  • Historic Images of Black Families: A Discussion of the Ellis Library Exhibition — 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25
  • Black History Entrepreneurship and Education Discussion — 10 a.m. Saturday, March 6

Devin Fergus, the Strickland Distinguished Professor of History & Black Studies, affiliated faculty of the Truman School of Public Affairs and this year’s chair of the Black History Month Committee noted that the MU Black History Month theme is adapted from the national theme that is designated by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. This year, the committee addressed the national theme of “family” within a global context.

“Black History Month is a time for the university community to come together to acknowledge the contributions of all people of African descent to national and international progress as a nation, state, city and university,” said Fergus, whose appointments are in the College of Arts and Science.

“Black History Month is one of the important vehicles for making lesser appreciated and acknowledged contributions more visible, of highlighting and inspiring interest in Black cultures, societies and histories,” Langley said. “Importantly, Black History is also Mizzou History, Missouri History, American History and World History; when we celebrate Black African descended people, we celebrate all people.”

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