LOGAN, Utah — Utah State University is proud to take part in the celebration of Black History Month. USU’s Division of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion will host several events to both educate the public and celebrate the richness of Black history.
“Black History Month has roots in African American thinkers like the historian Carter G. Woodson, the abolitionist Fredrick Douglass, President Abraham Lincoln, and students at Kent State in the 1960s,” said Isaiah Jones, senior director for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. “What I love about Black History Month is that it reminds us all that Black American history is also the history of the United States. We cannot tell our story without Black History.”
Black History Month honors the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, although it had been celebrated by many for decades prior.
The idea of Black History Month originated from noted scholar and historian Carter G. Woodson. Woodson, along with prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The group created an annual celebration of “Negro History Week” beginning in 1926, which was celebrated in the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The celebration evolved on many college campuses throughout the Civil Rights Movement into a monthlong celebration of Black history.
“Black History Month is a time to honor the struggles and the contributions of African Americans in U.S. history and society,” said USU junior Hal Magnuson, a bioveterinary science major. “I think it is important to constantly keep learning and to evolve our mindsets to be more inclusive of people.”
USU women’s soccer student-athlete Nicole Hardy loves to learn about her own family history, especially during Black History Month. As a daughter of biracial parents, Hardy sees her family history as proof of the progress the U.S. has made, although she acknowledges there is still more to be done.
“I love to hear my mom tell me stories of my ancestors and some of the brave things they were able to do to overcome different obstacles and opposition,” said Hardy, a senior majoring in communication studies and conflict management. “That instills in me the fact that my ancestors had strength, so I have that strength too. Looking at the last 100 years, Black History Month is a good opportunity to reflect on how far this nation has come. Although things are nowhere near close to how unified I think they could be, we are slowly progressing in the right direction.”
USU’s celebration of Black History Month will span through the entirety of February, with a variety of themes, topics and exhibits, as well as social media spotlights. Students are encouraged to participate in as many events as they are able.
“The university has a lot of really great events every single year for Black History Month,” said Aeden Anbesse, Black and African American student program coordinator in USU’s Inclusion Center. “Regardless of what your interest or major may be, there are opportunities in your college to go and learn about Black history and learn from Black people. It’s a great time to be able to go with your friends and family to these events.”
USU Black History Month Events
Black History Voices
- February 1–March 1 | Inclusion Center Instagram
- Follow along on the Inclusion Center Instagram account, @usu_inclusion, as they spotlight and share Black voices throughout history all month long.
Business, Race, and Society
- February 3 at 10 a.m. | Huntsman Hall Perry Pavilion
- The Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences present a conversation on business, race and society, featuring insights from Silicon Valley legend Ken Coleman, former Congresswoman Mia Love, Aggie Dion-Jay Brookterand USU Alumna of the Year Charisse Weaver.
USU and Utah Black History Museum Exhibit
- February 10 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. | TSC International Lounge
- Join the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, NEHMA, Utah Black History Museum and USU Library by exploring Utah’s Black History Museum bus and artifacts to help participants learn more about Black history as it relates to Utah State University and the state of Utah.
BLACKing Excellence: Black Innovations Pop-Up Exhibit
- February 16-28 at the Logan Campus Merrill-Cazier Library & Online Library Exhibits
- BLACKing Excellence showcases Black innovations in various fields as a means to show inventions are an integral part of the Black experience in the United States.
BLACKing Excellence Webinar: Jakobi Williams
- February 23 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Zoom Webinar
- Jakobi Williams is the Ruth N. Halls associate professor and chair of the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, and he holds a joint appointment in the Department of History at Indiana University-Bloomington. He is a Civil Rights, Black Power, Social Justice, and African American history scholar. Join the webinar to learn more about Civil Rights and social justice movements regarding Black excellence and innovations.
- Join: https://usu-edu.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_V0tDP5JVTKmynB6EAjes-g
Black History Month Networking Night
- February 23 from 6:30-8:30 pm | West Stadium Center
- Students will have the opportunity to engage with Black/African American Alumni in small groups to learn more about their experiences at USU as well as gain professional networking experience. Space is limited, so please register. Hosted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services, and the USU Athletics Department.
For a complete list of USU’s events during Black History Month and to register for events, visit www.usu.edu/dei/black-history-month.
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