Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in United States history. Penn State Outreach is offering and promoting a variety of events throughout February that you can attend to celebrate Black History Month.
Black History Month Events
Where: The Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State University Park
The Palmer Museum of Art will offer a printed, self-guided tour for Black History Month that features works on display by Black artists. Pick up a printed guide in the museum’s lobby and discover a rich array of artwork by Black Americans from the late 1800s to today.
When: February 1–4, various times
Where: Penn State University Park
The 2023 African American Music Festival will feature students and faculty of the School of Music, special guests John W. Jones and the Unified Jazz Ensemble, Maria Thompson Corley (piano), and Lara Downes (piano). The festival is hosted by Anthony Leach and Essence of Joy.
When: Tuesday, February 7, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Where: Heritage Hall, HUB-Robeson Center, Penn State University Park
The Penn State Black Caucus will host a talk by writer and poet Kwame Alexander. Alexander, a Newbery Medal winner and a prominent figure in the children’s fiction genre, will be discussing his life, career, and impact on the Black community through writing.
When: Tuesday, February 7, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Where: Room 104, HUB-Robeson Center, Penn State University Park
Join the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity along with the Gender Equity Center and Paul Robeson Cultural Center for an event featuring one of the top touring poets in the country, Ebony Stewart. Her work speaks to the Black experience, with emphasis on gender, sexuality, womanhood, queer-positivity, and race, with the hopes to be relatable, remove shame, heal minds, encourage dialogue, and inspire folks in marginalized communities. She will be providing a writing workshop for interested students who want to get firsthand advice from an accomplished poet.
Spoken Activism with Ebony Stewart
When: Tuesday, February 7, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Where: HUB 008 Lounge, HUB-Robeson Center, Penn State University Park
One of the top touring poets in the country, Ebony Stewart, will be presenting an interactive lecture and performance regarding her experience through poetry. No registration required. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. Sponsored by the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Gender Equity Center, and Paul Robeson Cultural Center.
When: Wednesday, February 8, 6:00 p.m.
Emmy Award–winning actor Keith David will deliver a dramatic reading of a speech by the legendary 19th-century American abolitionist in “The Frederick Douglass Project.” The program is free, but registration is required.
When: Wednesday, February 8, 6:30–8:00 p.m.
Cost: $15 for OLLI members and $30 for nonmembers
Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Penn State. As daughters, Betty Kilby Baldwin and Phoebe Kilby found a way to live Dr. King’s dream. They will tell you their stories of discovering their family connections and embarking on a path toward reconciliation and reparation. The class will draw on lessons from their 2021 book, Cousins: Connected through slavery, a Black woman and a White woman discover their past — and each other.
When: Thursday, February 9, 6:30 p.m.
Where: Online or Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, Penn State University Park
Author and award-winning Washington Post reporter Robert Samuels will discuss his book, His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice. In recognition of Black History Month, this event is being sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences; the Penn State chapter of Minorities in Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS); Penn State Outreach and Online Education; and the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity.
When: Tuesday, February 14, Noon–3:00 p.m.
Where: Various locations, Penn State University Park
The Center for Black Digital Research invites the campus community to our annual birthday party for Frederick Douglass. Help us transcribe the newly digitized papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary on the 200th anniversary of her birth. Shadd Cary was a groundbreaking Black feminist activist, journalist, publisher, teacher, and lawyer. The seventh annual Douglass Day transcribe-a-thon will include thousands of people at more than one hundred locations around the world.
When: Wednesday, February 15, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
Cost: $15 for OLLI members and $30 for nonmembers
Presented by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Penn State. Penn State alum Darryl Daisey discusses the Penn State African American Chronicles, an interactive multimedia website and timeline that tells the stories of the African American students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have inspired and empowered the Penn State community.
Film: “Six Triple Eight”
When: Thursday, February 16, 6:00 p.m.
Where: Freeman Auditorium, HUB-Robeson Center, Penn State University Park
As part of Black History Month, the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness is sponsoring a showing of the documentary “Six Triple Eight,” which chronicles the story of the 6888th Postal Battalion, an 855-member, all-Black, all-female unit that served in England and France during World War II with the mission of clearing a two-year backlog of over 17 million pieces of mail. During the war, mail was crucial to maintaining troop morale, and the Six Triple Eight’s contribution was exemplary; the film chronicles the women and their experiences. Following the film, there will be a panel discussion with Carmen Jordan-Cox, daughter of a unit member, and Dennis Miller, grandson of a unit member.
When: Thursday, February 23, 5:00–6:00 p.m. (keynote/Q&A), 6:00–6:30 p.m. (reception/photos)
Where: Berg Auditorium, 100 Huck Life Sciences Building, Penn State University Park
Presented by Moogega Cooper, trailblazing engineer of the famed Mars rover “Perseverance” mission for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Cosponsored by the Penn State Eberly College of Science; the Penn State Colleges of Earth and Mineral Sciences, Engineering, and Agricultural Sciences; the Office of Educational Equity; and the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium and supported by the John M. Chemerda Lectures in Science.
Check Back for Updates
We encourage you to check back for updates to this post throughout the month of February.
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