Black History Month

BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2024

Empowering Generations: Past, Present, and Future

The focus of Black History programming this year is empowering and uplifting the rich culture, creativity, and impactful contributions of Black folks within the diaspora. Our theme, "Empowering Generations: Past, Present, Future" is inspired by the importance of innovative artistic expression echoed throughout generations. Our impact shows up in varying ways including activism, creative mediums such as music, literature, film, dance, and art, as well as powerful dialogue.

Black History Month at U-M is a partnership between the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) and student organizations, including Supporting Incoming Black Students (SIBS) and Black Student Union (BSU). Our committee of 18 members works to make Black History Month a memorable experience for undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty at the University of Michigan. MESA provides support to student organizations to create events through our grants program.

ⓘ What is Black History Month? Black History Month is an annual observance dedicated to honoring and commemorating the achievements, contributions, and rich cultural heritage of Black individuals and communities throughout history. Black History Month started as “Negro History Week,” an idea of distinguished historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has also officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
 
 
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Listing of events

Submit an event  

Talks, panels, performances, exhibits, and other events and gatherings marking the month generally span February and early March. 

See event links below for details, and contact event organizers with inquiries about a specific event

 

Black Alumni Panel Mixer

February 2, 2024   6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Multipurpose Rooms
Sponsored by Black Student Union 

This event will provide an inter-generational space for Black students and alumni to share their undergraduate and graduate experiences at the University of Michigan.
 

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf

February 2, 2024   7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
February 3, 2024  |  7:00 p.m.
Walgreen Drama Center, Newman Studio
Sponsored by Basement Arts 

For Colored Girls... is a choreopoem that explores the obstacles, struggles, and misinformation Black women are faced with. It is also a story of the many forms of sisterhood black women have with each other. Tickets for free admission are available at the door. Content warnings: discussion of sexual assault, abortion, and domestic violence.
 

Soul Food Sundays

February 4, 2024   3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by Trotter Multicultural Center

Come hang out with the Trotter Multicultural Center staff on Sunday for some good food, good music, and good vibes!
 

Yvette Rock of "Live Coal" Art Exhibit: Empowering Generations: Past, Present, Future

February 5-26, 2024  |  All day
Michigan Union, 1st floor (near info desk)
Sponsored by University Unions

Come view Empowering Generations: Past, Present, and Future, hosted by Yvette Rock of "Live Coal," in the Michigan Union between February 5-26 next to the Campus Information Desk on the first floor.  This exhibit is featuring several artists who are part of the Detroit non-profit organization "Live Coal," whose mission is to transform lives and neighborhoods through art, community development, and education.
 

Challenges of Leading in Crisis with Lori Lightfoot

February 5, 2024  |   4:00 p.m.
Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium
Sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Lori Lightfoot was the 56th mayor of Chicago, the second woman, first African-American female and first openly gay person to ever serve in that role. In conversation with Ford School Dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes, she will reflect on her background and preparation for public service, the challenges she faced as mayor, and lessons about leading in crises. 
 

Black History Month Opening Ceremony

February 5, 2024  |   6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Michigan Union, Rogel Ballroom
Sponsored by MESA, SIBS, BSU, Trotter Multicultural Center, Spectrum Center, Housing Diversity & Inclusion, Rackham Graduate School, Central Student Government, and Black History Month planning committee 

[Registration required—see link] Join us as we celebrate the start of Black History Month. Our opening ceremony will include opening remarks from Deidre D.S.SENSE Smith, lecturer at the U-M School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, followed by a range of student, staff, and guest performances including spoken word, jazz ensembles, story-telling, dance, and more.
 

Inspirations of Resilience

February 7, 2024  |    4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by Trotter Multicultural Center and School of Music, Theatre & Dance

Join us for a powerful and uplifting afternoon of student performances celebrating Black art, culture, and experiences. We will have a special guest, composer Nkeiru Okoye, that attendees will be able to mingle with & heavy appetizers will be provided.
 

God Bless the Child: Visual Album Open Rehearsal

February 7, 2024  |  TIME TBA
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by the Dr's Laboratory

The open rehearsals for our production this semester are meant to be an inviting space for Black UMich to explore their creativity in the context of a larger production. Come to our open rehearsal and get some ideas out! This is meant to be a space for creativity and community.
 

BSU Mass Meeting: Love & Intimacy

February 8, 2024  |  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Sankofa Lounge
Sponsored by the Black Student Union

Join us for a community discussion all about relationships! We will explore how our values are reflected in our bonds with friends, family, and community through games and activities.
 

Expanding on Birthing Justice: A Book Panel for  "Birthing Justice: Black Women, Pregnant, and Childbirth"

February 9, 2024  |  2:00 p.m.
Lane Hall, room 2239
Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, IRWG, and CEW+ 

The book panel will include a few of the new contributors: TaNefer Camara, Linda Jones, and Dr. Sayida Peprah-Wilson. The panel will be moderated by another new contributor, Alexus Roane. The contributors will discuss their new chapters alongside how their work contributes to the ongoing collective pushes for birthing justice and reproductive justice more broadly. 
 

Hustle Class

February 9, 2024  6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Intramural Sports Building, Medium Multipurpose Room
Sponsored by Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR)

Don't be the one standing in the corner at the cookout! Join us in learning some of the most iconic and intricate group dances at our Hustle Class. Learn step by step taught by professionals. 
 

God Bless the Child: Co-Creation Session

February 9, 2024  |  Time TBA
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by the Dr's Laboratory

Our co-creation sessions are meant for the creative community on campus to read and experience our productions before public release. If you consider yourself a creative critic then this is the space for you to come and share your opinions and even help us rewrite and gain a new perspective on the work we are creating about this specific community of ours. 
 

FAM Friday: Trotter Motown

February 9, 2024  |   2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by Trotter Multicultural Center

Fam–Fridays is a throwback program series that was relaunched to celebrate culture through Food, Art & Music. On the second Friday of each month, we explore the different cultural foods our campus community and the larger Ann Arbor community has to offer.  In honor of Black History Month, we will honor blacks from the Motown era.  Games, prizes, and tasty treats are sure to make this a memorable event!
 

Movie Night: Love Jones

February 9, 2024  |   7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Sankofa Room
Sponsored by The Urban Wordsmith Society

Kick it with the urban wordsmith society, indulge in snacks, and witness the poetry of Love Jones. Nia Long and Larenz Tate delve into the complexities of relationships, weaving humor and raw emotion against the vibrant backdrop of Chicago.
 

BSU Skating Party

February 9, 2024  10:30 p.m. - 1:00 a.m.
Rollerama Skating Center, 6995 Grand River Ave, Brighton, MI 48114
Sponsored by the Black Student Union

Get out your skates! Please join us for BSU's annual skating party! Food, fun, and good vibes will be provided, you won't want to miss this!
 

Besties & Bros Brunch

February 10, 2024  9:30 a.m. -  1:00 p.m.
Michigan League, Koessler (3rd floor)
Sponsored by the Black Student Union

Join BSU in celebrating our love for community at our third annual Besties & Bros Brunch! We are providing food, fellowship, and fun as we recognize the importance of community, love, and care in honor of Valentine's Day.
 

Something the Lord Made

February 11, 2024  |  2:00 p.m.
State Theatre, 233 S. State St. Ann Arbor, MI
Sponsored by Michigan Medicine, Anesthesiology Department

[This event is open to all university faculty & staff] Please join us for a free viewing of the movie, Something the Lord Made,  a fact-based story of a white surgeon and a Black lab technician who revolutionized heart surgery amidst the racial injustice of the 1940s. The movie will be followed by a panel discussion facilitated by Lori Riegger, MD and Adam Was, MD. 
 

Soul Food Sundays

February 11, 2024   3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by Trotter Multicultural Center

Come hang out with the Trotter Multicultural Center staff on Sunday for some good food, good music, and good vibes!
 

Hear My Story, Hear My Song: Using Storytelling to Affirm Your Voice and Bring Joy

February 13, 2024  |  12:00 p.m.
Haven Hall 5511, DAAS Lemuel Johnson Center
Sponsored by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

Honoring our authentic voices is crucial when we are bombarded by a barrage of information that can be overwhelming. How do we maintain our truth? Let's discover some of the ways to use our stories to center ourselves in order to bring greater joy into our lives. Another world is possible!
 

QTBIPOC Kickbacks

February 13, 2024  |  5:00 - 6:30 p.m.
Michigan Union, MESA and Spectrum Center suites (3000-3020) 
Sponsored by the Spectrum Center and MESA

Open to all U-M students! Find your community. Join our monthly gatherings as we literally open up the wall between MESA and Spectrum Center for community, meals, centering students who identify as queer, trans, Black, indigenous, and people of color. Drop in, grab food, and hang out!
 

Black Love

February 14, 2024  |  12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Haven Hall, Room 5511 (DAAS Lemuel Johnson Center)
Sponsored by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

Join your DAAS Valentines as we honor the love that circulates within the Black Community. There will be sweet treats, games, music, backdrops for photo shoots, and lots of fun!

 

God Bless the Child: Visual Album Open Rehearsal

February 14, 2024  |  Time TBA
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by the Dr's Laboratory

The open rehearsals for our production this semester are meant to be an inviting space for Black UMich to explore their creativity in the context of a larger production. Come to our open rehearsal and get some ideas out! This is meant to be a space for creativity and community.
 

Black History Month Weekend Getaway

February 15-18, 2024
Camp Michigania
Sponsored by the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan—Camp Michigania

Join us up north at Camp Michigania on beautiful Walloon Lake as we celebrate Black History Month with a special weekend getaway! This community-building weekend will include educational opportunities, recreation, and relaxation. You’ll have the chance to hear from University of Michigan faculty, take in the beauty of northern Michigan in winter, and participate in activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more.

 

Black Professional Experience Panel

February 15, 2024  |  6:00  - 8:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Multipurpose Rooms 1-3
Sponsored by MESA, SIBS, BSU, University Career Center, Trotter Multicultural Center, The Program on Intergroup Relations, and the Central Student Government. 

[Registration required—see link] Join us for a panel discussion highlighting insights from Black professionals into navigating different career spaces with their Blackness. Panelists have experience in a range of industries, including marketing, photography, sports, government administration, and sustainability.
 

From SIBS, with Love

February 15, 2024  |  8:00  - 9:30 p.m.
Michigan Union, Anderson Room D
Sponsored by SIBS 

Join SIBS as we celebrate self-love this Valentine's Day by creating customized stuffed bears with personalized special notes inside!
 

Understanding the Black Action Movement

February 16, 2024   5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
East Quad, Abeng Multicultural Lounge 
Sponsored by Diversity Peer Educators

In this 60-minute informational presentation, participants will learn about the Black Action Movement (BAM) that challenged the University of Michigan’s policies regarding recruitment, enrollment, and campus experience of students of color at the University between 1970 and 1987. 

 

God Bless the Child: Co-Creation Session

February 16, 2024  |  Time TBA
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by the Dr's Laboratory

The open rehearsals for our production this semester are meant to be an inviting space for Black UMich to explore their creativity in the context of a larger production. Come to our open rehearsal and get some ideas out! This is meant to be a space for creativity and community.
 

The Great Debate - Movie Edition

February 16, 2024  |  6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Location TBA
Sponsored by Black Film Society

During this event, you will sign up to debate your favorite film, or opinion about any black film. There will be a moderator present as well! Come out to test your debate skills! (Based on the film "The Great Debaters," a drama about the first black debate team from an HBCU.)
 

BSID Dance Showcase

February 16, 2024   8:00 p.m.
School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) Dance Building
Sponsored by Black Scholars in Dance (BSID)

An exciting dance event, showcasing works by talented Black dancers and choreographers on campus!
 

Black Grad Game Night

February 17, 2024   6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Multipurpose Rooms 1-2
Sponsored by Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR)

Go head-to-head against friends and peers on all your favorite and classic games at SCOR's game night. Enjoy a chill evening playing card games, board games, tabletop air hockey, and more. Food will be provided. 
 

Soul Food Sundays

February 18, 2024  |  3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by Trotter Multicultural Center

Come hang out with the Trotter Multicultural Center staff on Sunday for some good food, good music, and good vibes!
 

Black History Month aMplify

February 19, 2024  |  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
LSA 1040, Multipurpose room
Sponsored by optiMize

aMplify is a series of community-building events for transfer students. On February 19th, the theme will be Black History Month! We will be celebrating and empowering Black past, present, and future generations with a delicious dinner and fun, educational activities. 
 

The Legacy of Black Expression: A Talk-Back with Dr. Wilson Okello

February 19, 2024  |  6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Michigan Union, Pendleton Room
Sponsored by MESA, the Black History Month planning committee, Trotter Multicultural Center, and the Spectrum Center.

[Registration required—see link] Join us for our Black History Month seminar by Dr. Wilson Okello, an assistant professor of education and a research associate at Pennsylvania State University.
 

Assessing How Committed an Organization Is to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

February 20, 2024  |  6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Student Activities Building, Program Room (3rd floor)
Sponsored by University Career Center

[Registration required—see link] How do you assess whether organizations are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion? Join us to learn how to assess various aspects of an organization’s culture during the job and internship search process through a diversity, equity, and inclusion framing. During this session, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss the challenges of navigating this process and practice actionable strategies to evaluate an organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
 

Anti-Racism Teach-in

February 20, 2024  |  6:30-8:00 p.m.
Michigan Union, MESA suite (3000)
Sponsored by MESA's PIE Team

This 90-minute, peer-led teach-in will provide attendees with tools, prompts, and activities to engage in a meaningful conversation with others as we unpack our varying experiences with racism. We hope to raise critical consciousness and understand the opportunity for action.
 

Connecting the Diaspora: A Conversation of Identities

February 21 or 22, 2024  |  Time TBA
East Quadrangle, Abeng Lounge 
Sponsored by the African Student Association

The purpose of our discussion is to discuss the similarities between black identities (African Americans/Black and those of African descent). We will also be addressing differences in language (AAVE vs. pigeon). In addition, we will be discussing societal expectations between communities and what space all people part of the diaspora have within their perspective cultures.

 

God Bless the Child: Visual Album Open Rehearsal

February 21, 2024  |  Time TBA
Trotter Multicultural Center
Sponsored by the Dr's Laboratory

The open rehearsals for our production this semester are meant to be an inviting space for Black UMich to explore their creativity in the context of a larger production. Come to our open rehearsal and get some ideas out! This is meant to be a space for creativity and community.

 

The Black Business Expo 

February 21, 2024  |  5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Ross School of Business, Tauber Colloquium
Sponsored by Black Business Undergraduate Society 

The Black Owned Expo. will create a space for Black entrepreneurs on and around campus to showcase their products. This event is meant to uplift small businesses and allow students to explore all of the different businesses that are in Ann Arbor and Black-owned. There will also be a well-established Black keynote speaker at this event who will talk about their journey and share gems of wisdom about how to navigate Corporate America. 
 

Meet the Professionals Mixer

February 21, 2024  |  7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
East Hall, Room 4448
Sponsored by the Black Undergraduate Psychological Association

This will be a great opportunity to learn from and form connections with professionals ranging from social workers, therapists, professors/researchers, and psychologists. As our community continues to work towards prioritizing black wellness and mental health, hearing from these professionals will be of great value!
 

BSU Mass Meeting

February 22, 2024  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Sankofa Lounge
Sponsored by the Black Student Union

Join BSU for a discussion on the historic exploitation of the Black community through capitalism, while also learning tips and tricks to manage your finances while on campus.
 

QTBIPOC Kickbacks: Graduate Student Edition

March 6, 2024  |  6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Off campus
Sponsored by Spectrum Center and MESA

Open to all U-M graduate students! Find your community. Join our monthly gatherings as we literally open up the wall between MESA and Spectrum Center for community, meals, centering students who identify as queer, trans, Black, indigenous, and people of color. Drop in, grab food, and hang out! 
 

Detroit Dance Loft x SIBS

March 8, 2024  |  6:30  - 8:00 p.m.
Trotter Multicultural Center, Multipurpose Rooms 1 & 2
Sponsored by SIBS 

Join SIBS & Detroit Dance Loft instructors Marc and Rose as we express ourselves through dance! Come learn salsa and dance with us to Afrobeats!

Past Black History Months

Have any questions?

Contact event organizers with inquiries about specific events. Other questions? Contact blackhistorymonth@umich.edu