Penn State campuses offer events during Black History Month in February

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Penn State student organizations and units at campuses across the Commonwealth will be holding events in honor of Black History Month. Here’s a look at some of the events taking place at the University’s campuses during the month of February.

This list will be updated as events are added throughout the month; the University community is invited to send diversity and inclusion events for consideration to [email protected].


“Race and Revolution: Still Separate, Still Unequal,” a traveling exhibition of contemporary artwork and historical documents exploring the ongoing issue of school segregation in the United States, even after the milestone court case in 1954 that ruled segregation unconstitutional, is jointly sponsored by Woskob Gallery and the HUB Galleries. Jan. 29 through April 6, Woskob Gallery, downtown State College; and the HUB Galleries on campus.

Penn State will host a national symposium on higher education, “Envisioning Racial Equity on College Campuses: Bridging Research-to-Practice Gaps for Institutional Transformation.” Feb. 7-9, Hyatt Place State College.

The exhibit “African American Literacies and The Underground Railroad” examines the multiple literacies of African-American slaves in their flight to freedom through The Underground Railroad, as represented in the Charles L. Blockson Collection of African-Americana and the African Diaspora. Feb. 11 through March 15, first-floor Pattee Library, mall entrance case.

“Before the Human: Africans, Sovereigns & Slaves” will be presented by Herman Bennett, history professor at City University of New York. Sponsored by the Department of African American Studies. Free and open to the public. Feb. 21, 6-7:30 p.m., 160 Willard Building.


The True Black History Museum, a traveling Black history exhibit with artifacts dating from the late 1700s to the 21st century, was established to preserve the history of African American people and to provide information on the many great contributions that African Americans have made. Feb. 8, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.

“A Tribute to the African American Journey,” a lecture by True Black History Museum founder Fred Saffold II, will take the audience through the African-American experience utilizing the artifacts in the exhibit and explaining the significance of these artifacts the present day. Feb. 8, 12:15 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.

“Being Black at Berks, A Cultural Showcase of Black Culture,” hosted by the Black Student Union and Berks Diversity Committee. The evening will include various forms of spoken word poetry, hair and fashion shows, a performance by the Berks Step Team, and light refreshments. Feb. 8, 5 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.

“The Wailing Women” by William Grant Still and “Symphony in E Minor” by Florence Price, will be performed by the Penn State Berks Campus Choir, Vox Philia Chamber Choir, Berks Sinfonietta and the Lincoln University Concert Choir. Tickets are $15 for adults and free for students. More information. Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m., Immanuel United Church of Christ, 99 South Waverly Street, Shillington, Pennsylvania.

Aneesah Smith, social justice and LGBTQ activist, will present a lecture. More information. Feb. 20, 7 p.m., Perkins Student Center Multipurpose Room.


Baltimore-based NAZU African Dance and Drum Co. will present a performance in honor of Black History Month. Sponsored by the Office of Student Engagement; free and open to the public. Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Hiller Auditorium.


Student poets will open for headliner and spoken-word artist Rudy Francisco in a spoken-word poetry slam, Greater Allegheny’s signature event for Black History Month. The event is free and open to the public. Feb. 20, 6 p.m., Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center.


The curator of the exhibit The True Black History Museum (see below Feb. 27 event), Fred Saffold, will offer a presentation. Lunch will be provided. Feb. 6, 12:20-1:15, Black Box Theater of the Slusser/Bayzick Building.

A program, “Painting with Poets,” will feature poems, lyrics and spoken word, by 20th- and 21st-century African-American artists. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the program by listening to the artists’ work and then creating their own paintings and sketches inspired by their observations. Feb. 6, 7-8 p.m., South Hall lounge.

Office of Student Engagement will host The True Black History Museum. Feb. 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., lobby of the Evelyn Graham Academic Building.


Penn State Lehigh Valley will host The True Black History Museum, a traveling Black History exhibit with artifacts dating from the late 1600’s to the 21st century, and founder Fred Saffold. Free and open to the public. Feb. 6,10 a.m.-4 p.m., Centre Hall.


The Black Law Students Association will host activist Maj Toure, founder of the movement “Black Guns Matter,” will discuss the movement and its position on second amendment rights and responsibilities. Feb. 7, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 112 Lewis Katz Hall.

The Black Law Students Association will host Phillip Roundtree, who will discuss the impact of profession-related stressors on practitioners’ mental health and the importance of self-care, and share recommendations to improve wellness-related outcomes. Feb. 12, 12:30-1:30 p.m., Room 112 Lewis Katz Hall.

The Black Law Students Association will host Kendall D. Isaac, general counsel for Dickinson College, will speak about expanding the view of social justice to be inclusive of firm and in-house counsel work on Monday, Feb. 25, as part of Black History Month. Feb. 25 12:30 p.m., Room 112 Lewis Katz Hall.


“African-American History on Wheels” will exhibit a unique collection of inventions by African-American inventors. Free and open to the public. Feb. 6 and 7, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Madigan Library.

Enjoy live music and great food at the annual Soul Food Dinner. Students may use their Board meal plans, and limited free tickets can be picked up at the Campus Center Information Desk for off-campus and commuter students. This event is open to the public; cost is $12. Feb. 20, 5-8 p.m., CC Commons, Bush Campus Center.

“Diversi-tea” Dialogue: Community peer educator-run conversation groups for students, the dialogues explore topics relating to diversity and cultural life on campus. This month’s discussion will focus on black poets and their works. Feb. 26, 2:30 p.m. Bush Campus Center, CC/105C.

Movie Night celebrating Black History Month: Free food, free entertainment, and lots of prizes are offered; sponsored by the Community Peer Educators and the Wildcat Events. Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Student & Administrative Services Center, Presentation Room.