Celebrate Black History Month with HFA and UMass Amherst
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Attend events that celebrate Black history and culture run by student organizations, cultural centers, colleges and more. Visit the Office of Equity and Inclusion’s events page and select the Black Presence filter.
Forgotten Lives: What They Mean, and Why They’re Important
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m.
Professor Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina is an internationally acclaimed scholar widely known for her work in British literary and cultural studies. Much of her award-winning work explores for-gotten lives. Most recently, an updated edition of her book Black London was published in the U.K. under the new title Black England: A Forgotten Georgian History, with a foreword by Zadie Smith. Gerzina’s work reaches beyond the field of literary studies and has made significant contributions to scholarship in history, art history, and African American studies.
Career Pathways and Issues in BIPOC Mental Health and Wellness
Thursday, Feb. 9, 5-6:30 p.m.
Join us for a virtual panel on BIPOC mental health and wellness, moderated by Jamie Daniels, LICSW/MSW and Britt Rusert, PhD, featuring alumni Sofia Meadows-Muriel '22; Charles Pisaturo '22; Chayanne Chataigne '21; and Carlea Dolcine '23. Register here.
Questions or Inquiries about the event may be addressed to: Britt Rusert, Afro-American Studies Undergraduate Program Director.
Hosted by the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies and Open to all UMass Students. This event is co-sponsored by the HFA Career Center; the Department of Psychology; the Center for Racial Justice and Youth Engaged Teaching; the Center for Women and Community; and Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies.
Thursday, Feb. 16, 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.
Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “offering an object lesson in what an inventive jazz musician can do with a familiar song,” guitarist Bobby Broom has been defying conventions for four decades. After early years touring and playing with such giants as Sonny Rollins, Kenny Burrell, Miles Davis, and Stanley Turrentine, Broom has led and recorded with numerous trios and quartets since the 1990s. Broom was a regular opening act for pop legends Steely Dan. He is a five-time winner for best jazz guitarist in DownBeat magazine’s annual polls.
Commonwealth Honors College Black Heritage Month Celebration: Slavery, Mobility, and the Creolized Counter-Knowledge of Resistance
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 5-6 p.m.
Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall
For its Annual Black Heritage Month Celebration, Commonwealth Honors College welcomes groundbreaking presenters who are working at the intersection of art praxis, racial justice, and the embodiment of change as pathways to liberation.
This year's talk will be presented by Charmaine A. Nelson, Provost Professor of Art History in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at UMass Amherst. Nelson's lecture will adopt an extended conceptualization of creolization – the transformation of cultures, societies, and populations within the context of the contact between Europeans, enslaved Africans, and colonized and enslaved Indigenous peoples in the Americas – to explore the intersection of and conflicts between knowledge production, enslaved mobility, and anti-slavery solidarity.
James Baldwin Lecture: None of Us Is Free Unless All Are Free: Anti-Imperialism and the Black Radical Tradition
Thursday, Feb. 23, 6-7:30 p.m.
From joining with First Nations peoples to contest European settlement to protesting the annexation of foreign territory, the political struggles waged by African Americans have fostered a vibrant Black Radical Tradition consistently opposed to U.S. imperialism. Those drawing on this tradition have not only protested U.S. invasions of other nations as a matter of principle, but also highlighted the interconnections between injustices waged abroad and oppression at home. In doing so, this tradition has often served as the basis for solidarity with those struggling against U.S. imperialism, a solidarity that has helped to inform radical movements here against patriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalist exploitation. Presented by Bill Fletcher Jr.
Annual Du Bois Lecture: Chad Williams, “The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and the First World War”
Thursday, Feb. 23, 6-8 p.m.
For nearly two decades, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted to write what he believed would be the definitive history of the African American experience in World War I. In this talk, Chad Williams explores Du Bois’s complex relationship with the history and legacy of World War I and what it reveals about the struggle for democracy, racial justice and peace in the 20th century.
Thursday, Feb. 23, March 30, April 27, 6 p.m.
Randolph W. Bromery Center for the Arts Lobby
Hosted by acclaimed performer Lyrical Faith, this new series is dedicated to building the local community of emerging artists while featuring some of the best spoken word poets from the national scene. Lyrical Faith is a Black American educator, activist, and spoken word poet from the Bronx. She is the third-ranked woman poet in the world as of the 2022 Womxn of the World Poetry Slam, an inaugural Bronx Poet Laureate finalist, a two-time recipient of the Bronx Council on the Arts BRIO Award, and the 2015 Syracuse University Poet of the Year.
Through her poetry, Lyrical Faith strives to inspire, educate and advocate for intersectional and institutional issues by merging the arts and activism from a faith-based worldview.
Second Annual Men of Color Summit
Saturday, Feb. 25
Organized by the UMass Brotherly Union, the Men of Color Summit Conference empowers, educates and motivates our students to strive for excellence in education and in their own communities. Check their instagram page for updates on events and speakers for this year's summit.
Reading Frederick Douglass Together
Monday, Feb. 27, 4 p.m.
South College Atrium
To commemorate Black History Month and the birthday of social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman Frederick Douglass, the College of Humanities & Fine Arts (HFA) will host a Reading Frederick Douglass Together event on Monday, Feb. 27, at 4 p.m. ET in the South College Atrium. The event is sponsored by Mass Humanities.
Participants who are interested in reading a passage can submit their name and email via this form and be entered to win a gift certificate to the UMass Store. All volunteers will read an assigned passage from Frederick Douglass’s “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” during the event.
Origins of Black History Month
Black History Month offers the opportunity to learn about the rich history and culture of African Americans in Massachusetts, the United States, and our own campus. Read this piece by Dean Barbara Krauthamer to learn more
Ndaba Mandela: A Legacy of Social Justice
We were pleased to welcome Ndaba Mandela, author and activist, and the co-founder and co-chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation as our featured speaker for the Day of Racial Healing. Ndaba Mandela is also the grandson of Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid activist and the first president of South Africa.
A History of Progress Through Activism
The legacy of actions for social justice and progress has been an integral part of our campus culture. Learn about the history of student and faculty driven activism and achievements for Black representation at UMass Amherst throughout the years.
Our campus cultural centers, student organizations, and, networks, and educational hubs provide avenues to support the wellbeing, education, and experiences of our Black student, staff, and faculty. See a list of these resources as well as a timeline of our cultural centers.
The UMass Black Presence website serves as a living history of the experiences, contributions, and stories of Black students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Through oral history interviews and research on historical figures, we've captured these stories to provide an authentic and in-depth understanding of these lived experiences.