The Black History Month (BHM) celebration begins this year as Stony Brook welcomes author Sulma Arzu-Brown to campus for the Opening Ceremony on Wednesday, February 1, from 12:50 pm to 2:20 pm in the Student Activities Center Gelber Auditorium (details below). Throughout February, the University will host a variety of events that celebrate the African American experience.
The sustainable theme for BHM has been, and continues to be, “Sankofa,” which translates to “return and get it.” This year’s co-theme is “Built on My Back.” Throughout the Americas and various continents, African people have made invaluable contributions to science, education, economics, political movements and law. This year, the campus will be enlightened as they learn about individuals and groups of African descent who have made significant impacts in these areas, as well as learn more about the intersectionality of other groups closely affiliated with Blacks and/or African Americans.
For more information about Black History Month and a full list of events, please visit the website.
Highlights of BHM 2017
Wednesday, February 1
Opening Ceremony, 12:50pm to 2:20pm, SAC Gelber Auditorium
This year’s guest speaker is Sulma Arzu-Brown, author of Bad Hair Does Not Exist/Malo Pelo No Existe!, which is a call for cultural solidarity and empowerment of young Black, Afro-Latino and multi-racial girls to see themselves, and their hair, as beautiful. She herself is a Garifuna, or Black Carib, who takes pride in her Afro-Latina identity. She is also a mother, entrepreneur executive director of Garifuna Coalition and vice president of Operations for the Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
Wednesday, February 8
“Black History Month Unity Forum: Does the Afro-American Dream Exist or Is It Too Late?,” 6 pm to 8 pm, Humanities Lecture Hall 1006
This event will bring a diverse group of African American and Latino students together to discuss the Afro-American Dream: Does is exist or is it too late? For more information, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs, (631) 632-7320.
Thursday, February 9
“Spoken Word/Open Mic Contest,” 8 pm to 10 pm, Black Box Theater, Tabler Arts Center
Come to express yourself through poetry, speech and hip-hop in relation to the BHM co-theme, “Built on My Back.” For more information, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs, (631) 632-7320.
Monday, February 13
“Black Civil Rights, Trump and White Nationalism,” 2 pm to 3 pm, Special Collections Seminar Room (2nd Floor), Melville Library
Africana Studies Professor Zebulon Miletsky will help create a forum for discussion and exchange as part of the ongoing conversation on race and Civil Rights in the United States — especially as Donald Trump becomes President and White Nationalism is on the rise. For more information, contact the Africana Studies Department, (631) 632-7470.
Wednesday, February 14
“Black Women’s Week: Unconditional Love,” 1 pm to 2:30 pm, SAC 303
This event examines the emotional and psychological issues black women face, black women’s self-esteem, and sexual orientation in the black community. More Black Women’s Week events will be held throughout the week (see BHM calendar). For more information, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs, (631) 632-7320.
Stony Brook Gospel Choir: “Gospel Roots,” 8:30 pm to 10 pm, SAC B
Join the Gospel Choir and get back to your Gospel Roots. For more information, please contact the Choir, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, February 19
“NAACP Image Awards,” 8 pm to 10 pm, SAC Ballroom A
This formal celebratory event will acknowledge people on campus who have consistently served their community. For more information, please contact Jasmine Gordon, email@example.com.
Wednesday, February 22
Black History Month Closing Ceremony, 8 pm to 11 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. The event will feature live performances and presentations from student groups and organizations. For more information, please contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs, (631) 632-7320.