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Black History Month Information & Resources

In 1926 Carter G. Woodson, the "father of Black history”, set out to designate a week to celebrate and educate people about Black history and culture. Woodson chose February because it encompasses the birthdays of two Americans who played a significant role in Black American history, Abraham Lincoln, and Frederick Douglass. The goal for Woodson was to encourage the teaching of history of the Black American experience and the history of the African diaspora in public schools. It was an effort to make it a serious area of study within history. Fifty years after the first celebrations, President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month during the country's 1976 bicentennial.

2024 Events

Jan 31st Step Afrika! 7p PAC

Step Afrika! tours to 50 colleges each year, practicing dance styles rooted in African American fraternities and sororities, along with performing traditional African dances. The company headlined former President Barack Obama’s Black History Month Reception and performed at the White House’s first-ever Juneteenth celebration.

Feb 6th ODI Movie Night-Do the Right Thing Union Meeting Room A

Northwest’s Black History Month celebration continues with a movie night, featuring “Do the Right Thing,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom. Featuring actors Spike Lee and Samuel L. Jackson, the movie is a comedy-drama that depicts racial tension in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Feb 12th Safe Zone Workshop 4p Union Meeting Room A

The Safe Zone program is designed to create a network of visible allies for people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ campus community. The training session provides information and resources related to sexual orientation and identity, gender identity, and gender expression.

Safe Zone training develops:

  • An increased comfort level in addressing concepts and language related to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and LGBTQ+ communities.
  • An increased awareness of services that support LGBTQ+ and allied individuals.
  • A network of community and campus employees and students to support people of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.

Feb 22nd Black History Month Trivia 6p Union Ballroom

The University also will host Black History Month Trivia at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Student Union Ballroom.

Feb 29th Rissi Palmer Workshop #1 10a-11a Union Living Room, Rissi Palmer Workshop #2 1p-2p CJT, An Evening with Rissi Palmer 7:30p CJT

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will conclude the month’s events by hosting country music artist Rissi Palmer on Thursday, Feb. 29. Palmer will host a songwriting workshop at 10 a.m. in the Student Union Living Room and a workshop covering her radio show at 1 p.m. in the Charles Johnson Theater at the Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building. She will perform an acoustic concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Charles Johnson Theater. Palmer is one of five African American women to appear on the Billboard charts in the history of country music. In 2007, she became the first Black woman to have a record on the country music charts in 20 years. Palmer, a two-time Grammy nominee, has performed at the White House and the Apollo Theater.

For more information about Black History Month activities at Northwest, contact or 660.562.1105.