Black History Month

2022 Black History Month Celebration
February 2022

Healing Through History: Recognizing Our Struggles While Celebrating Our Triumphs

The story of the Black experience in the United States has fluctuated between a series of struggles and triumphs.  Since arriving to this continent on slave ships, people of African descent have endured hardships and tragedies from slavery to the current mass incarceration epidemic. Despite the many generational systemic injustices, African Americans have provided groundbreaking achievements in the arts, sciences, politics, and entertainment, to name a few, to transform the global community. Join the James Farmer Multicultural Center’s celebration and recognition of these historic, triumphant moments.

UMW continues to monitor campus, local, and statewide COVID-19 data and has instituted protocols to protect our campus community.  These protocols include requiring proper mask wearing while indoors, requiring proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, reducing occupancy limits at events, or restricting attendance to UMW community members only, obtaining contact information from event attendees for contact tracing, and requesting that the University be notified of any positive COVID test within 14 days of attending an event at UMW.  The University may also implement additional restrictions if cases increase on campus or in the region. We encourage you to check our website for updates prior to arriving to campus for a scheduled event.

Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves

Thurs., January 27 – Thurs., March 24  | T-F 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., S-Sun 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.  | Ridderhof Martin and duPoint Galleries

UMW Galleries presents a large group exhibition of contemporary African American artists, borrowed from the Petrucci Family Foundation’s collection. This exciting show encourages reflection, healing, and regrouping through the lens of history and its preservation.


Black History Month Kick-Off Dinner: African Dinner

Tuesday, February 1  |  5 p.m.  |  Dining at the Top of the UC, University Center

Co-sponsored by University Dining

Cost with Campus Meal Plan is one meal swipe or $11 Flex. The cost for EagleOne or credit card purchases is $13.50.


James Monroe Museum: 6 Degrees of Phillis Wheatley

Thursday, Feb. 3 | 6 p.m.  |   Register here to attend on Zoom Or  watch live on Facebook

Dr. Tara Bynum, Assistant Professor of English & African American Studies at the University of Iowa, will introduce Phillis Wheatley as a singular writer and a new story for early African American writing. She will address with a careful certainty—the idea that Wheatley is not actually alone despite how she is portrayed in history. The aim of this presentation is to ask new questions; to situate this writing amidst old, new, and different ways of reading; and to center the living of Black women and men in the latter half of the eighteenth century.


Black Family Feud

Friday, Feb. 4 | 6 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Sponsored by the Black Student Association

Black Family Feud will be a fun and informative game night based on old and new Black culture.


Colors of Africa

Saturday, Feb. 5 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center

Sponsored by the African Student Union, Women of Color, Brothers of a New Direction, and the James Farmer Multicultural Center

Colors of Africa seeks to celebrate the culture that Black people create. Whether it is Black people of the African continent, African Americans, or the Caribbean, Blackness is a transnational and multicultural experience and it ought to be celebrated as such.


Jazz Ensemble Black History Tribute:  Iconic Jazz Greats

Tuesday, February 8 | 8 p.m. | Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

Celebrate Black History Month with the UMW Jazz Ensemble! Doug Gately, a senior lecturer in the Department of Music, directs this concert featuring music from iconic jazz artists.


Black History Month: Southern Soul Food Lunch

Wednesday, February 9  |  11 a.m. | Dining at the Top of the UC, University Center

Co-sponsored by University Dining

Cost with Campus Meal Plan is one meal swipe or $8.25 Flex. The cost for EagleOne or credit card purchases is $12.00 + tax.


Black History Month Keynote Program:  Dr. Marceline Catlett

Wednesday, February 9  |  7 pm  |  Chandler Ballroom C, University Center

If you would prefer to attend this event virtually, please register here.

Cosponsored by the College of Education

Dr. Marceline Catlett is the 25th Division Superintendent of Fredericksburg City Public Schools and a Fredericksburg native. She attended Virginia State University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She went on to earn a Master of Education Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. After earning Postgraduate Certificates from VCU, Oxford University, Harvard University, and Howard University, Dr. Catlett earned a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Dr. Catlett has 39 years of employment experience in FCPS. Her career with Fredericksburg City Public Schools began in 1981 at Walker-Grant Middle School where she worked as a sixth-grade teacher. She moved into school administration in 1990 serving as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Personnel, and Deputy Superintendent.

She has been recognized for her notable achievements in education, leadership, and community service. Awards include the 2018 Hugh Mercer Elementary School African American Community Award, the Women Education Leaders in Virginia 2017 Spirit Award, the 2017 UMW Patricia Lacey Metzger Distinguished Achievement Award the 2015 Excel Award in Education women in Worship Ministries, the 2011 Fredericksburg Regional Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Washington Area Outstanding Service to Youth Award.

Dr. Catlett serves on many boards throughout the Fredericksburg region including Smart beginnings, Mary Washington Healthcare, UMW’s Community Advisory Committee on Diversity, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Fredericksburg Area Youth Development Foundation Sunshine Ballpark, the Boys & Girls Club of the Greater Washington Area, as well as the Rappahannock Area American Red Cross.


Just Mercy

Friday, Feb. 11 | 7 p.m. | Monroe Hall, Room 116

Saturday, Feb. 12 | 10 p.m. | Monroe Hall, Room 116

Sponsored by Campus Programming Board

Cost: $1.00


Judas & the Black Messiah 

Friday, Feb. 11 | 10 p.m. | Monroe Hall, Room 116

Saturday, Feb. 12 | 7 p.m. | Monroe Hall, Room 116

Sponsored by Campus Programming Board

Cost: $1.00


What Does Justice Look Like for Black People?

Monday, Feb. 14 | 6 p.m. | Colonnade Room, University Center


Over the past decade, Black people have been recurring victims of state and vigilante violence from Trayvon Martin to Breonna Taylor to George Floyd.  Join the UMW NAACP College Chapter for a talk on activism with other community leaders. Participants will leave with the tools and knowledge they need to safely participate in activism at the local, state, and national level, while working together to find the answer to the question: “What does justice look like for Black people in this country?


The History of Sampling Records in Hip-Hop

Tuesday, Feb. 15 | 5 p.m.  |  Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center

This interactive presentation will be led by Ronald Turner II, known as DJ R-Tistic. He will take the audience on an oral and visual tour of the history of sampling classic R&B, soul, funk, and jazz records, which laid the foundation for the creation of hip-hop, and how the usage of sampling continues to thrive in today’s musical landscape.


Great Lives Series: Emmett Till

Tuesday, Feb. 15 | 7:30 p.m. |  Streamed live at

Sixty-six years after his lynching, the story of Emmett Till is more prominent than ever. Beginning with the murder in 1955, Dave Tell will chart the long after-life of Emmett Till. Tell will explain how and why Till’s story was buried for 49 years before roaring back to life in the twenty-first century. Tell will account for long silences as well as brief, passionate outbursts of memorial investment. He will tell the backstories of the signs and museums that now punctuate the land where Till was killed. These stories reveal a world of controversy, patronage, nepotism and enduring racism lurking just behind the placid surface of polished historical markers. The commemoration of Emmett Till did not simply disseminate a settled story; it has transformed most of what we think we know about the night Till was killed.


Human Rights Film Series:  The Vanishing Trial

Wednesday, Feb. 16 | 6 p.m.  |  Colonnade Room, University Center

This documentary focuses on four individuals forced to make the difficult choice of either pleading guilty to a crime they did not commit in exchange for a shorter sentence or going to trial and risking decades behind bars. Throughout the film, we hear from leading experts about how this trial penalty has effectively abolished one of our most hallowed constitutional rights and helped fuel the mass incarceration epidemic.


Black History Month: Caribbean Lunch

Thursday, February 17  |  11 a.m. | Dining at the Top of the UC, University Center

Co-sponsored by University Dining

Cost with Campus Meal Plan is one meal swipe or $8.25 Flex. The cost for EagleOne or credit card purchases is $12.00 + tax.


Great Lives Series: Ida B. Wells

Thursday, Feb. 17 | 7:30 p.m. |  Streamed live at

Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, to enslaved parents during the tumult of the Civil War, Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) joined a generation of young Black men and women who aspired to professional careers and successful lives as full citizens in the decades after Reconstruction. Wells was an outspoken opponent of segregation, the convict lease system, and lynching — three powerful systems of oppression supported by popular cultural narratives of Black inferiority and criminality. Wells’s activism can help Americans understand the systemic historical forces and enduring racist narratives that continue to influence debates about inequality today. No one has explained this phenomenal woman better than Dr. Sarah Silkey, professor of History and Chair of the History Department at Lycoming College. She is the author of Black Woman Reformer: Ida B. Wells, Lynching, and Transatlantic Activism.


Step Show & Competition [CANCELED]

Saturday, Feb. 19 | 7 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

We regret to announce that the 2022 BHM Step Show has been canceled.  Thank you for your interest in this event.  We hope to be able to host the Step Show again next year.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Join area step teams from high schools, regional colleges and universities as they engage in a high-energy, entertaining competition.

Black Cultural Karaoke

Tuesday, Feb. 22 | 7 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom C, University Center

Sponsored by Brothers of a New Direction

Join BOND for a fun-filled karaoke program for all UMW community members, honoring Black History Month with a very special playlist from genres like blues, R&B, jazz, and gospel!


Black Mental Health Matters

Wednesday, Feb. 23 | 6 p.m. | Colonnade Room 315, University Center

Sponsored by UMW DiversAbility

In a country and world filled with Black trauma, how does the Black community heal from this reality? Join UMW DiversAbility in a discussion on the stigma on mental health in the Black community and what healing looks like for Black people.


Black History Month:  Creole/Cajun Mardi Gras Dinner

Thursday, February 24  |  5 p.m.  | Dining at the Top of the UC, University Center

Co-sponsored by University Dining

Cost with Campus Meal Plan is one meal swipe or $11 Flex. The cost for EagleOne or credit card purchases is $13.50.


For more information, contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or  Visit 

Please email us at if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.