Black History Month

2018 Black History Month Celebration:  Still Fighting

Our nation is standing at a moral crossroads, and we must ask ourselves: Is the heartbeat of equality waning? The first great test of the nation’s social conscience came with the elimination of slavery as an institution during the Civil War. The second test came a century later, with the abolition of second-class citizenship through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Now, 50 years after that success, we face a renewed fight for social justice and equality. Join the James Farmer Multicultural Center as we pay tribute to the many accomplishments of African-Americans and continue striving to attain the highest ideals promised in the Constitution for all Americans.


Black History Month Kick-Off Lunch:  Southern Soul Food

Thursday, February 1  |  11:30 a.m.  |  Dining at the Top of the UC

Cost: 1 meal swipe; Flex $7.80; Cash/Credit/EagleOne $9.25



Human Rights Film Series:  I Am Not Your Negro

Thursday, Feb. 1 | 6 p.m.  |  Room 412, Lee Hall


In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and assassinations of three of his close friends: Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of this manuscript. Filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished.



Resistance Through Poetry

Friday, Feb. 2 | 7 p.m. | The Underground, Lee Hall

Sponsored by the Political Poets Collective and the African Student Union


Resistance Through Poetry will explore the multiplicity of black identity focusing on the ways in which we resist oppression and create beautiful art in the process.




Saturday, Feb. 3 | 3 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

Join gospel choirs and praise dance teams from several Virginia colleges and universities as they engage in spiritual song and dance.



Black History Month Caribbean Dinner

Monday, February 5  |  5 p.m. | Dining at the Top of the UC

Cost: 1 meal swipe; Flex $10.95; Cash/Credit/EagleOne $12.00



This event has been cancelled.

Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Cherrell Brown
Wednesday, Feb. 7  |  7 p.m.  |  Digital Auditorium, Hurley Convergence Center



A Day in the Life of Farmer

Thursday, Feb. 8  |  4 p.m. |  Colonnade Room, University Center


This interactive session will be a walking exhibit of artifacts, stories, and other interesting and vital information on the University of Mary Washington’s very own distinguished faculty member, the late Dr. James Farmer.



Colors of Africa

Friday, Feb. 9 | 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 will highlight Caribbean, African, and traditionally African-American culture through music, dance, and food.



Jazz Ensemble Black History Tribute:  Iconic Jazz Greats

Monday, Feb. 12 | 7:30 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:  Creole/Cajun Mardi Gras Dinner

Tuesday, February 13  |  5 p.m. | Dining at the Top of the UC

Cost: 1 meal swipe; Flex $10.95; Cash/Credit/EagleOne $12.00



Great Lives Series: Tuskegee Airmen

Tuesday, Feb. 13 | 7:30 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall


African-Americans fought a war on two fronts in World War II – against fascism abroad and against white supremacy at home. No group battled both as directly, made better use of the opportunities the war created, or did more to lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement than the Tuskegee Airmen. These all-black fighter and bomber groups fought their way into the U.S. Army Air Forces, then battled Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the skies over Europe and Jim Crow’s forces at postings throughout the United States. J. Todd Moye, author of Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, traces this story from the long struggle to force the War Department to train pilots of color, through the postwar efforts to desegregate the Air Force.



Black Minds Matter: The Exploration of Mental Health in the Black Community

Thursday, Feb. 15 | 6 p.m. | Colonnade Room 315, University Center

Sponsored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Alpha Alpha Alpha Zeta Chapter


The topic of mental health has always been taboo in the black community. Those who have struggled with a mental health issue usually have had to fight to be heard and understood. Join us for information and interactive presentations on the subject.



Black History Month African Dinner

Monday, Feb. 19  |  5 p.m.  | Dining at the Top of the UC

Cost: 1 meal swipe; Flex $10.75; Cash/Credit/EagleOne $12.00



Odyssey of Soul

Monday, Feb. 19 | 7 p.m.  |  University Center, Chandler Ballroom C


A concert and presentation exploring the influence of African and African-American music traditions on today’s musical landscape. The concert traces the evolution of popular music styles with traditional African songs, spirituals, rhythm and blues, gospel and much more. Music has been and still is a form of resistance, as well as a conveyor of the African American struggle. This program will take audience members through the continuous fight as it is expressed in African American music.



Addressing #BlackLivesMatter in Schools: How Secondary Social Studies Educators Teach and Perceive the Movement

Tuesday, Feb. 20 | 5 p.m. | Room TBD, Monroe Hall


John Broome, an associate professor in the College of Education, has examined how secondary social studies educators perceive the Black Lives Matter movement. Some approach classroom discussions from a social activist perspective and encourage their students to act, but most prefer a “balanced” approach that emphasizes curricular alignment and critical thinking skills. The #AllLivesMatter response and Robin DiAngelo’s concept of white fragility will also be discussed.



Parallels: Past and Present

Wednesday, Feb. 21 | 6 p.m. | Chandler Ballroom, University Center

Sponsored by the Black Student Association


Erin Krutko Devlin, an assistant professor of history and American studies and the author of Remember Little Rock, hosts a forum exploring parallels between the mid-century civil rights movement and contemporary struggles for social justice. Police brutality, mass incarceration, and economic and educational inequity will be addressed.


Gabriel’s Conspiracy in History and Memory

Thursday, February 22  |  7 p.m.  |  Monroe Hall, Room 116

Sponsored by the James Monroe Museum

In the spring of 1800, Gabriel, an enslaved blacksmith on Brookfield plantation in Henrico County, began to organize one of the most widespread and potentially history-changing plots in North America.  This talk examines the conspiracy within the context of early national Virginia and the Atlantic World.  Why did Gabriel believe his plan could successfully liberate slaves in the state that was home to more bondpersons than any other in 1800, and what did Governor James Monroe do in the conspiracy’s aftermath?  Finally, in a modern era of contested statues and monuments, how do we remember Gabriel and understand his use of revolutionary violence.

Free and open to the public.  Followed by refreshments.



Step Show

Saturday, Feb. 24 | 7 p.m. | Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall

Presale UMW faculty, staff, students:  $3; Presale General Admission:  $5
UMW faculty, staff, students:  $5; General Admission: $7

Join regional college and universities’ Greek step teams as they engage in a high-energy, entertaining competition.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more information, please contact the James Farmer Multicultural Center at 540/654-1044 or visit