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Stony Brook is Celebrating Black History Month 2019

Kwame onwuachi featured

The Black History Month Opening Program at Stony Brook University takes place on Wednesday, February 6. Various campus organizations will be hosting a range of educational, social and cultural programs that focus on the campus’ theme for the month, Sankofa! Blackness is Endless.

Sankofa is an Akan language of Ghana that translates in English to “return and get it,” and has been the enduring theme over the years for Black History Month at Stony Brook. Sankofa is used throughout the pan-African world to promote the idea that African people must go back to their roots in order to move forward. This year’s theme, Sankofa! Blackness is Endless, was created by the Black History Month Committee to illustrate the infinite contributions, modalities of identity, and future possibilities of individuals that are included within the African Diaspora and the Stony Brook Community.  

Check out some of the major highlights of the month below, and you can find the full schedule on Stony Brook’s Black History Month website.

Wednesday, February 6
Black History Month Opening Ceremony
1 pm to 2:30 pm, SAC Ballroom A

Top Chef Kwame Onwuachi is the guest speaker at this year's Opening Ceremony.
Top Chef Kwame Onwuachi is the guest speaker at this year’s Opening Ceremony.

This year’s guest speaker is Chef Kwame Onwuachi from Bravo’s Top Chef. Chef Onwuachi will be interviewed talk-show style by Africana Studies Professor Zebulon Miletsky about his journey as a chef and his perseverance in overcoming obstacles to achieve his culinary dreams. In addition, cultural student groups Cadence Step Team and the Stony Brook Gospel Choir will also perform at the Opening Ceremony.

Born in the Bronx, Chef Onwuachi is Executive Chef and Creator of Afro-Caribbean cuisine hot-spot Kith and Kin and Philly Wing Fry, a fast-casual restaurant inside Whole Foods, both in Washington, DC. He is most well-known as a two-time veteran on Bravo’s culinary competition Top Chef, having competed in seasons 13 and 15. His charismatic personality made him a fan favorite during his seasons.

After the program, Chef Onwuachi will offer the participants a taste of his take on Afro-Caribbean cuisine: Braised Chickpea Curry.  

Tuesday, February 12
2019 Black History Month Unity Forum
3:30 pm to 5:30 pm, Central Reading Room, Melville Library

Students take a deeper look into the cultural messages and practices that families within the African Diaspora associated with love and protection. Student panelists will work with the library to create an advanced reading list for event participants that can be shared in a LibGuide. Register here.

Wednesday, February 20
NAACP Image Awards
7 pm to 10 pm, SAC Sidney Gelber Auditorium

This formal celebratory event will acknowledge people on campus who have consistently served their community.

Thursday, February 21
Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest
8 pm to 11 pm, Tabler Black Box Theatre

The Black History Month Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest is an opportunity for SBU students to showcase their gifts and intellect through spoken word and diverse modes of expression. There is a general theme that contestants should focus on, so please read the guidelines. We also encourage those who just want to perform to sign up and share their talents. Register here.

Wednesday, February 27
Black History Month Closing Ceremony
7 pm to 10 pm, SAC Ballroom A

The closing program is the culmination of a month-long roster of educational and cultural events marking Black History Month at Stony Brook. Please join us as we celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of our students, faculty and staff that contributed to such an enriching month.  

For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at (631) 632-7320 or

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