Cal State San Bernardino will celebrate Black History Month with a number of events both in person and online that pay tribute to the tremendous impact that African Americans have had in the United States.
To launch the month-long number of events, the Black History Month Planning Committee will host the Black History Month Kickoff on Wednesday, Feb. 1, from noon-2 p.m. at the Santos Manuel Student Union North Conference Center welcoming all students, staff, faculty and administration to attend. This annual event will allow campus community members to learn more about student groups and campus organizations’ resources. The event will also feature live music, games and much more. Register at 2023 Black History Month Kick-off.
CSUSB’s Black History Month will also feature a Black History Month Virtual SMSU exhibit on “8 Black Inventors Who Made Daily Life Easier,” such as Mary Van Brittan Brown, who co-invented a home security system; Garrett Morgan who invented the three-light traffic signal; and Frederick McKinley Jones, the inventor of refrigerated trucks.
Other events honoring Black History Month at CSUSB include:
· Feb. 3, 5:30 p.m., Coyote Village, MPR, “Showcase Your Blackness.” The Black Residential Scholars invite students to showcase their talents through song, dance, poetry, art, etc. to represent Black history. Food will be provided. If in need of disability-related accommodation to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit the Black History Month 2023 calendar.
· Feb. 7, 4-6 p.m., SMSU North Conference Center A, “The Intersectionality of Blackness.” Engage in insightful dialogue with individuals of Black+ identities as they discuss their own lived experiences and offer tools to students for navigating macro and micro aggressions in both academic and professional spaces while reaffirming their right to hold and occupy space. Register for the Intersectionality of Blackness website.
· Feb. 10, 10 a.m.-noon, SMSU North Conference Center, “Film and Discussion: Activism and Coalitions.” Come view the documentary “The First Rainbow Coalition” followed by a faculty panel discussion moderated by Marc Robinson, assistant professor of history. The documentary focuses on Fred Hampton, the charismatic leader of the Chicago Black Panther Party who in 1969 began to form coalitions across lines of race and ethnicity with other community-based movements in the city. For more information, visit the Black History Month 2023 calendar.
· Feb. 14, 1-2 p.m., Zoom, “Bittering the Wound: A Conversation and Poetry Reading with Jacqui Germain.” The Pfau Library presents St. Louis-based writer, journalist and poet Jacqui Germain who will read from and discuss her debut collection of poetry, “Bittering the Wound,” a first-person retelling of the 2014 Ferguson uprising. This collection works to share the narrative of the event with more complexity, audacity, care and specificity than public media accounts typically allow. For more information, contact Robie Madrigal, Pfau Library, at email@example.com. Register at Bittering the Wound: A Conversation and Poetry Reading with Jacqui Germain.
· Feb. 16, noon-1 p.m., SMSU North 3rd Floor Glass Meeting Room, “Langston Hughes Project Workshop: Black Protest Music: From the Negro Spiritual to Rap Music.” Event hosted by SMSU Pan African Student Success Center and the Black History Month Planning Committee. Take a critical look at the historical impact of music in Black Culture. Register for Langston Hughes Project.
· Feb. 16, 3-4 p.m., SMSU North 3rd Floor Glass Meeting Room, “Langston Hughes Project Workshop 2 - From Bee-Bop, to Doo Wop, to Hip-hop: Revolutionary and Evolutionary Music.” Event hosted by SMSU Pan African Student Success Center and the Black History Month Planning Committee. Join us as we explore the evolution of music and how it has served as the backdrop for Black liberation. Register at “Langston Hughes Project Workshop 2 - From Bee-Bop, to Doo Wop, to Hip-hop: Revolutionary and Evolutionary Music.”
· Feb. 16, 6-8 p.m., SMSU North 3rd Floor Glass Meeting Room, “Langston Hughes Project Theatrical Performance.” Event hosted by SMSU Pan African Student Success Center and the Black History Month Planning Committee. The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.” The Langston Hughes Project is a joyous multimedia celebration of this masterwork – in music, spoken word and visuals – performed by the impressively versatile Ron McCurdy (as narrator and on trumpet) and his talented group of musicians (on piano, bass and drums), “who make heads bob, fingers snap and feet tap throughout.” This amazing production was named “Live Experience of the Year” at the 2016 JazzFM Awards in London, England. Register at Langston Hughes Project theatrical Performance.
· Feb. 21, noon-2 p.m., SMSU East Amphitheater, “BHM Celebrates: Me Time! Snack & Relax.” The Black community suffers from increased mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression. The Black Scholars Program wants to make sure you prioritize your mental health as it is an essential part of your overall physical health and satisfaction. The Black Scholars Program has partnered with the Black History Month Planning Committee, The Retreat, and CAPS to ensure you can take time for yourself. We have blocked out times for students who identify as Black or Pan-African to utilize the retreat space. We also hope to provide light refreshments to students who utilize the space. For more information, visit the Black History Month 2023 calendar.
· Feb. 21, noon-1 p.m., Zoom, “Don’t Get it Twisted: Untangling the Psychology of Hair Discrimination within Black Communities!” Event hosted by Marissa Boles, Black History Month Committee member. Being in love with hair her whole life, Afiya Mbilishaka grew up as her family’s hairstylist, graduating from lawn chairs at cookouts to eventually holding space in her college dorm room for a mini salon. Her trait of being a skillful active listener translated smoothly to the field of psychology, earning her degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Howard University. At the age of 26, Mbilishaka earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and was a full-time therapist at Columbia University, and then she was a professor at the University of the District of Columbia. Mbilishaka is a natural hairstylist and partners with N Natural Hair Studio in Silver Spring, Maryland, where she loves creating art with locs, twists and afros. For more information, email Marissa.firstname.lastname@example.org. Register at Don't Get it Twisted: Untangling the Psychology of Hair Discrimination within Black Communities & Mental Health.
· Feb. 23, noon-1 p.m., Location TBA, “From Student to Scientist: A Talk w/ Biology Alumnus Marvin Macharia.” The College of Natural Sciences and CSUSB’s Career Center present the professional journey of Marvin Macharia as he details his resiliency and resourcefulness enacted as a Black student pursuing his undergraduate degree at CSUSB. These skills helped prepare Macharia for his career as a researcher in the medical field. Macharia was selected as the 2019-2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year for the College of Natural Sciences as well as the 2019-2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year for the Department of Biology. Macharia is currently advancing the research community and aiding residents within Riverside County to combat COVID-19 as a research associate at Curative, a startup diagnostics company focused on COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. For more information, visit the Black History Month 2023 calendar.
· Feb. 23, noon-2 p.m., SMSU South Event Center A, “Men of Color Professional Development and Tie Workshop.” Event hosted by the Pan African Student Success Center. Students who attend will gain powerful skills to help them nail any interview and secure the career of their dreams. Students will also learn various ways to tie a tie that can serve as a point of interest or a conversation starter that is guaranteed to leave an impression. Free headshots, free men’s business attire, resume and cover letter writing support will be available. Register for Men of Color Professional Development and Tie Workshop.
· Feb. 24, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., SMSU North Conference Center, Pioneer Breakfast. The Black Faculty, Staff and Student Association is proud to announce scholarship opportunities that will be presented during our annual Pioneer Celebration. More information coming soon! For more information, visit the Black History Month 2023 calendar.
For updates on the various events and programs of the Black History Month celebrations, visit the Black History Month website.
Black History Month was first proposed by Black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State a year later, from January 2 to February 28, 1970. The celebration was expanded to nationwide recognition in 1976, during the nation’s bicentennial, as President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”