Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Black History Month

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada and more recently has been observed during October in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Black History Month marks achievements made by African Americans and is a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

2023 Black History Month Activities

The Students of Color Affinity Group
Members of our Students of Color Affinity (SOCA) group attended the "African American History in Westfield from 1720" exhibition and documentaries at The Center for Creativity in Westfield. The groups enjoyed a walking tour of the town’s sites known for prominent Black influences and met with the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church of Westfield, as well as a representative from the Elks Centennial Lodge 400 & Centennial Temple 246, both important historical sites that were pivotal in the town’s African American history.

SOCA members also assembled 50 sandwiches for the St. Joseph Social Services Center in Elizabeth for the Our Daily Bread Sandwich program.

Peer Ministry 
Members of the Peer Ministry Leadership Team and Club designed a banner representing the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Critical Concern of Racism. The group also collaborated with members of SOCA to create flyers featuring Black Americans, their biographies, and quotes on unity which were displayed on campus.

Social Studies Classes
Social Studies history classes viewed videos from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience on Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom and Becoming Frederick Douglas. Students will examine the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s and look at an intellectual and cultural revival of Black American music, art, fashion, literature and politics from 1920 to 1930. 

Dr. Bonk's students studied North Carolina Eugenics Reparations and read about Henrietta Lacks and Jamaica Kincaid.

Book covers featuring literature by Black authors were displayed outside of the Kennedy Library Media Center.
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