Black History Month Schedule

February 2021
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2021 Black History Month Events

Throughout the month of February, MCSE is proud to be working in collaboration with other university affiliates such as SUA, BSU, and the African American & African Studies Department to celebrate Blackness in the past, present, and future.


This Free North Documentary Panel Discussion

Wed Feb 24, 5:00 pm

Stream the Emmy-winning documentary This Free North at your convenience all month long at MCSE.UMN.EDU. This brief film showcases Black history at the University of Minnesota and its connection to contemporary students. Join us for the panel discussion to further explore the institution’s complex and ongoing history in an effort to cultivate a more all-inclusive and equitable future.


Trivia Night

Tues, Feb 2, 6:00 pm


Test your Black history knowledge at virtual trivia! Prizes for first, second, and third place.


Forgotten History

Mon, Feb 8, 5:00pm


Join the discussion with the BSU regarding overlooked Black figures in history. Test your knowledge for a chance to win a prize!


National African American Read-In

Thurs, Feb 11, 10:00am - 2:00pm


The National African American Read-In is a groundbreaking effort to encourage communities to read together, centering African American books and authors. If you are moved by Dr. Gholdy Muhammad's Cultivating Genius about the importance of centering black literary thought to nourish the genius within us all or if you were moved by the words of Amanda Gorman who reminded us how to weave our words into social movements, we ask that you consider participating in this event!

Sign up to share a quote, poem or passage by a Black author on February 11th!


Soul Food Live

Tue, Feb 16, 5:00pm

Instagram Live

Join the BSU as board members learn how to cook a soul food dish taught by a Black professional chef.


Activist Panel

Wed, Feb 17, 6:00pm

Hear from local activists as they share their stories and learn about ways that you can get involved!


A Feast of Words

Thurs, Feb, 18, 7:00pm


Join the Friends of the Libraries and the Campus Club online for a conversation with Emeritus Professor Dr. John S. Wright about his intellectual forebearers and the African American renaissance men and women who inspire his work. Dr. Wright will be joined by Cecily Marcus, Curator of the University Libraries’ Givens Collection of African American Literature, the Performing Art Archives, and the Upper Midwest Literary Archives.


Professional Development Panel

Mon, Feb 22, 5:00pm


Hear Black professionals explain what it's like to work in different career fields, the steps they took to get to where they are, and offer advice to Black students on how to be successful in undergraduate and beyond.


Annual Cultural Showcase

Thurs, Feb 25, 6:00 pm

Join us in the annual Black History Month cultural showcase to celebrate Black talent within our community.


For more Black History Month events and event details, visit the BSU's website

Origins of Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history.

The story of Black History Month Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.

By the late 1960s, due in part to the civil rights movement and a growing awareness of Black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Historical Black Achievements at the University of Minnesota