Black History Month Events Celebrate Life, Culture, Experiences

The month of February marked the campus-wide celebration of Black History Month. Hosted by Ujamaa, Wesleyan’s Black Student Union, students took part in a plethora of events that celebrated black life, experiences and culture.

This year events centered around the theme, “Freedom is a Constant Struggle,” highlighting the many years of oppression people of color faced in the United States. Events included a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a student of color art show, a leadership conference, a Black History Month formal and much more.

Photos of Black History Month activities are below: (Photos by Gabi Hurlock ’20, Olivia Drake and Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ‘ 19)

On Feb. 23, students of color presented their visual work at the Be the Art showcase. The exhibit is housed in Zilkha Gallery

On Feb. 23, students of color presented their visual work at the Be the Art showcase. The exhibit is housed in Zilkha Gallery.

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This drawing by Dominique Nunnally ’19 is displayed at the Be the Art showcase.

Theodore Shaw ‘76, Hon. ’14 spoke on “Freedom is a Constant Struggle” during Wesleyan’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration Feb. 3 in Memorial Chapel.

Theodore Shaw ‘76, Hon. ’14 delivered the keynote address during Wesleyan’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration Feb. 3 in Memorial Chapel. Shaw is the Julius L. Chambers Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Civil Rights at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Law.

Following his talk, Shaw mingled with guests at a reception held at Zelnick Pavilion.

Following his talk, Shaw mingled with guests at a reception held at Zelnick Pavilion.

Shaw also met with students for a mid-day discussion.

Shaw also met with students for a mid-day discussion.

Diaspora Blackness Around the World, held on Feb. 15, unpacked the vast extent of black experiences that occur well past the U.S. boarders. Students engaged in a discussion about the intersecting identities of people of color, and how they manifest in black communities around the world.

Diaspora Blackness Around the World, held on Feb. 15, unpacked the vast extent of black experiences that occur well past the U.S. boarders. Students engaged in a discussion about the intersecting identities of people of color, and how they manifest in black communities around the world.

The Milk & Choreo student group provides the greater Wesleyan community with an open space to learn and practice urban dancing, with a positive and encouraging community of individuals who do not necessarily have dance experience. The group met on Feb. 18 in the Fayweather dance studio.

The Milk & Choreo student group provides the greater Wesleyan community with an open space to learn and practice urban dancing, with a positive and encouraging community of individuals who do not necessarily have dance experience. The group met on Feb. 18 in the Fayweather dance studio.

Jonah Toussaint '17 created custom artwork during Black Business Day held Feb. 16 in Usdan University Center. Toussaint and fellow students and local black vendors sold their products over the lunch hour.

Jonah Toussaint ’17 created custom artwork during Black Business Day held Feb. 16 in Usdan University Center. Toussaint and fellow students and local black vendors sold their products over the lunch hour.

Climbing PoeTree took place on Feb. 18 in the Ring Family Theater.

Climbing PoeTree took place on Feb. 18 in the Ring Family Theater.

A performance, which focuses on infusing the movement for justice with healing and imagination, audience members witnessed dual-voice poems, unconventional hip hop, and multi-media theater, all combined and used to explore the diversity of the black experience.

A performance, which focuses on infusing the movement for justice with healing and imagination, audience members witnessed dual-voice poems, unconventional hip hop, and multi-media theater, all combined and used to explore the diversity of the black experience.

Students of color attended the second annual "Ebony Excellence," on Feb. 17 at Russell House.

Students of color attended the second annual “Ebony Excellence,” on Feb. 17 at Russell House.

The Black History Month formal celebration allowed students to glam up and enjoy a dance party with a DJ.

The Black History Month formal celebration allowed students to glam up and enjoy a dance party with a DJ.

Male students gathered for a group photo during the formal.

Male students gathered for a group photo during the formal.

Clemmie Harris, a visiting assistant professor of African American studies at Syracuse University, spoke on “Fighting for the Soul of American Democracy: Black Activism in Historical Perspective” on Feb. 18. Harris’s address examined the history of African American activism in the long freedom struggle and the lessons black history holds for today’s struggle.

Clemmie Harris, a visiting assistant professor of African American studies at Syracuse University, spoke on “Fighting for the Soul of American Democracy: Black Activism in Historical Perspective” on Feb. 18. Harris’s address examined the history of African American activism in the long freedom struggle and the lessons black history holds for today’s struggle.

Students gathered in Allbritton on Feb. 21 for an evening discussion on "Black Radical Protest."

Students gathered in Allbritton on Feb. 21 for an evening discussion on “Black Radical Protest.” Gina Athena Ulysse, professor of anthropology, led the discussion.