Feb. 7 & Feb. 14 Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise

Part 1 (Feb. 7), Union Theater @ 5:30 PM
Part 2(Feb. 14), Union Theater @ 5:30 PM

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise looks at the last five decades of African American history since the major civil rights victories through the eyes of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., exploring the tremendous gains and persistent challenges of these years. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America—and our nation as a whole.

2/7 Discussion led by: Emma Houston, Director of Diversity & Inclusion – Office of the Mayor/Salt Lake County Government Center
Emma has worked in various roles with Salt Lake County since 2002. She began her career in Aging Services as center manager for the Sunday Anderson Westside Senior which was the first center in the state to be nationally accredited. In 2006 Emma became the Assistant Program Manager for the Active Aging Centers Program and manager for 8 of the 16 county facilities. A longtime community volunteer, Emma was appointed as Diversity & Inclusion Director by Mayor Ben McAdams for Salt Lake County’s Diversity Affairs. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion mission is to support and promote an inclusive community and government for all through dialogue, respect, action and celebration and bring about meaningful and sustainable change that unites and strengthens Salt Lake County. She is the former chairwoman of the Governor’s Office of Ethnic Affairs and currently serves on the YWCA Board, UAA/SCANS Board, Reverend France A. Davis Scholarship Board, MLK Commission and is the president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Upsilon Beta Omega Chapter. Emma is passionate about sharing her collaborative skills and community connections and enjoys working with all communities. She holds a MBA in Business Administration.

2/14 Discussion led by: Dr. William A. Smith, Interim Chair of Education, Culture and Policy & Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies – University of Utah
Dr. William A. Smith serves as the Associate Dean for Diversity, Access, & Equity in the College of Education as well as the Special Assistant to the President & NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative. Dr. Smith is the co-editor (with Philip Altbach & Kofi Lomotey) of the book, The Racial Crisis in American Higher Education: The Continuing Challenges for the 21st Century (2002). His work primarily focuses on his theoretical contribution of Racial Battle Fatigue which is the cumulative emotional, psychological, physiological, and behavioral effects that racial microaggressions have on People of Color. Dr. Smith’s work has appeared in such journals as The Journal of Negro Education, Harvard Educational Review, Educational Administration Quarterly, and American Behavioral Scientist. Dr. Smith is a former postdoctoral fellow for both the Ford Foundation and the Center for Urban Educational Research and Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Research Associate with the CHOICES Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has worked as an administrator or professor at Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University (University Park, IL), Western Illinois University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He received his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University (BA in psychology and MS in guidance and counseling) and his Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (educational policy studies, sociology/social psychology of higher education).

Feb. 21 The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Union Theater @ 5:30 PM

THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Master documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others, THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that birthed a new revolutionary culture in America.

Discussion led by: Dr. Wilfred Samuels, Associate Professor of English & Ethnic Studies – University of Utah
Wilfred D. Samuels received his B.A. degree in English and Black Studies from the University of California at Riverside; and he received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies and African American Studies from the University of Iowa. Dr. Samuels is currently an associate professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah, and the former director of its African American Studies Program and Coordinator of the Ethnic Studies Program. Dr. Samuels is a well published scholar who has written on the 18th century slave narrative of Olaudah Equiano and on several twentieth century African American writers, including Claude McKay, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and John Edgar Wideman. His Encyclopedia of African American Literature (New York: Facts on File, 2007) was published this summer. A former Ford Foundation Post Doctoral Fellow, Dr. Samuels is the recipient of several awards including the University of Utah’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the College of Humanity’s Ramona Cannon Award for Teaching Excellence.

Feb. 28 Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise

Union Theater @ 5:30 PM

This intimate and personal portrait of Dr. Maya Angelou’s life is a touching and moving tribute to her legacy. Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film weaves her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.

Discussion led by: Dr. Jacqueline Thompson, Director, Educational Equity Department – Davis School District
Dr. Jackie Thompson works in Davis School District as the Director of the Educational Equity Department. Her duties and responsibilities include the Davis School District Parent Equity Committee, Multicultural Education, Civil Rights Issues, AVID Advancement via Individual Determination, and the V(i)llage Program. Dr. Thompson received numerous awards and national recognition. She was also the recipient of the 1994 Spirit of the American Woman Award for Public Education. She is a charter member of the Beehive Chapter of Blacks in Government (BIG). She has been a recipient of the Beehive Chapter’s Meritorious Service Award and in 1992; she received the National Meritorious Service Award. She is past President of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME). She was one of nine women who received the 1998 Utah Women’s Achievement Award presented by the Governor’s Commission for Women and Families. She served as Mrs. Utah 1999 and was the recipient of the Salt Lake Branch NAACP Martin Luther King Award for the year 2000. Dr. Thompson was the recipient of the 2011 Drum Major Award for the Utah State Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission. She was honored as the 2012 Educator of the Year by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. She also served as Education Chair on the State Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission.



February 1 – 28
A. Ray Olpin Student Union, Lobby Display Case

Stop by the Union on your way to classes, lunch, or an activity to view the display case created by the Black Student Union that portrays their theme for Black History Month which is #BlackHistoryMatters. The display cases demonstrates the multiplicity of black identity which encompasses a facet of areas. The display case will be up all month during February.

#BlackLivesMatter and the Politics of Racial Mis/Recognition

February 14, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Tanner Humanities Center, The Jewel Box (Room 143)

Previously tenured at Southern Illinois University, Dr. Rachel Griffin is a new faculty member in the U’s Department of Communication. This talk theorizes #BlackLivesMatter discourses as demands for humanizing recognition that represent a continuation of historicized labor to contest racial oppression. Anchored by the Hegelian assertion that mutually affirming recognition fosters humanization, these discourses respond to racial misrecognition (e.g., stereotypes, microaggressions, stigma, racism, etc.) which has profound consequences for people of color ranging from devaluation to dismissal to death. When #BlackLivesMatter is theorized as a demand for humanizing recognition and simultaneous response to dehumanizing misrecognition, our societal inability to consistently respond with affirmation, compassion, and action is pedagogically revealing in terms of racial progress.

Celebratory Retrospective on the History of African Americans in Utah

February 21, 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Eccles Health Sciences Library

In honor of African American History Month, the Office of Health Equity and Inclusion (OHEI) and the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL) at the University of Utah are pleased to invite you to a Celebratory Retrospective on the History of African Americans in Utah. The work and collections of three prominent civil rights activists in the current and past history of African Americans in Utah–Rev. France Davis, Dr. Charles James Nabors, and Mr. Herman Hooten– will be featured and exhibited from February 14 – March 3.
Please RSVP for the Exhibit Reception

Dr. Charles James Nabors, Ph.D. Conference Series: African American Community

February 22, 12:00 – 1:00 PM
Public Health Classroom, Division of Public Health (375 Chipeta Way, Suite A, SLC, UT 84108)

The Charles James Nabors, Ph.D. Conference Series, previously called the Patient Voice series, recognizes and honors Dr. Charles James Nabors, a former anatomy professor and the first African American professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and civil rights activist. The series showcases patient voices from various communities and their thoughts on how to improve healthcare quality. Each month’s presentation focuses on a different community. Sessions are free and open to the public.

Please RSVP to attend

How Deep and Dark: Slavery, Photography, and the Limits of Narrative

February 23, 12:00 PM
Sorenson Arts & Education Complex, Auditorium 1151 A/B

Black Faculty and Staff Association Spotlight Lecture Series
Formerly enslaved writers and their White Northern interlocutors embraced photography—the nineteenth-century’s most revolutionary visual technology—to construct new, visually-mediated narrative forms. The lecture will reveal how photographic technologies like the daguerreotype, the carte de visite, and the stereoview transformed how narratives of U.S. slavery were written, read, circulated, and reproduced.

Learn more about this event here.

Meet the Artist: Edgar Arceneaux

February 24, 2:00 – 2:30 PM
S.J. Quinney College of Law, 1st Floor Atrium

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law will host a “Meet the Artist” event as part of U’s Black History Month with Los Angeles-based Edgar Arceneaux, a rising star in the art world who will create a new sculpture at the law school to represent Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic quote, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

The project is part of the S.J. Quinney College of Law’s mission to promote justice and access to justice in society. The sculpture will be funded through the generosity of donors who approached the law school with a desire to contribute funds to commission of a sculpture in the newly opened facility to celebrate diversity and to build on the theme of justice visible through King Jr.’s quote on display in the school’s sixth floor Moot Courtroom. Arceneaux’s concept, “The Crystal Paradox,” will incorporate law books, letters about Dr. King and other artistic elements to bring a visual story of justice alive. Arceneaux’s proposal was selected from a pool of artists from around the world who offered submissions and ideas for the sculpture.

Arceneaux will discuss his vision for the project —as well as his path as an artist —at the event, which is open to the public and University of Utah community. Light refreshments will follow.

Learn more about this event here.

The Hillman Hop (“A Different World” Themed Jamboree)

February 24, 10:00 PM – Midnight
A. Ray Olpin Student Union, SED Lounge (Union 293)

The Black Student Union invites you to a themed social called the Hillman Hop, named after the 1980’s tv show “A Different World”. Come to be in community to learn about what the day-to-day life of African American college students’ lives were like. We would love if you dressed up as a character from this television show. Feel free to take this quiz to find out which “Different World” character you are. Soul food appetizers will be provided in collaboration with Chartwells.

Food Provided. Required attire: 80s or 90s themed outfit
$5 at door

“Moonlight” Film Screening

February 28, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Building Benchmark 820, Equity Office (2135 Red Butte Canyon Rd., SLC, 84112)

The Black Student Union will be hosting an intimate crowd to view a critical film that looks at other aspects of Black identities and engage in a dialogue about identity, family, friendship and love. Food will be provided.

Food Provided

Check out our Event Calendar for other Black History Events happening off campus!