Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

About Black History Month

Black History Month is a celebration in February of the achievements and historiographies of African Americans. 

The celebration’s history starts with Carter G. Woodson, an American historian, author, and journal. In September of 1915, Woodson founded what is now known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), an organization dedicated to researching, promoting, and preserving the lives, history, and culture by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. In 1926, ASALH sponsored a national Negro History week. The event grew from local communities to college campuses. By 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month. He invited Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

MESA works with partners across campus to bring different speakers, workshops, and events to celebrate and highlight African American history on campus and in the nation.

The theme for Black History Month is based on the 1619 Project "Claiming, Celebrating and Liberating …" The project is a significant initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.

MESA is focused on bringing forth a diverse set of voices and experiences to highlight the different yet all valid experiences that African Americans face on and off-campus. We hope to highlight the history of African Americans on campus, as well as celebrate the progress that has been made towards achieving equity. We would also like to facilitate critical dialogue on how other people on campus can act as allies, as well.

This year's Black History Month will celebrate the Historical Greatness, Successes, and Achievements of “All” Black People who matter throughout history that have revolutionized today’s America by recognizing artists, speakers, writers, activists, advocates, practitioners, poets, athletes, chefs, humanitarians, etc.. since 1619 observing 400 years of black history.

Launching the 2020 Black History Month Calendar of events!​

January 28, 2020

Wallace House Presents "The 1619 Project: Examining the Legacy of Slavery and the Building of a Nation" with Nikole Hannah-Jones Rackham Auditorium, 6pm

January 30, 2020

Black Student Union Academic Resource Fair Trotter Multipurpose Rooms, 6:00pm

February 2, 2020

H.E.A.D.S. Presents - SuperBowl Edition South Quad Ambatana Lounge, 7pm

February 3, 2020

MESA Presents - A Conversation with Dr. Yusef Salaam: Black History Month Opening Keynote Michigan Union Ballroom, 6:30pm - 7:30pm

February 4, 2020

Multicultural Lounge Design Showcase Michigan Union (MESA & Spectrum Hallway), 4:00pm

February 7, 2020

MESA and Rec Sports Presents - 1st Black History MonthHealth and Wellness Basketball Game Intramural Sports Game, 3pm - 5pm

Black Business Students Association’s Presents -  44th Annual Alfred L. Edwards Conference Ross School of Business, 7pm

February 8, 2020

Black Business Students Association’s 44th Annual Alfred L. Edwards Conference Ross School of Business, All Day

February 9, 2020

H.E.A.D.S. & Sister 2 Sister Presents - Soul Food Social Trotter Multicultural Center, 12pm

February 11, 2020

DAAS Presents - Value the Voice UMMA, 6pm

February 12, 2020

2020 Tanner Lecture on Human Values: "Theorizing Racial Justice" Charles W. Mills Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, CUNY Rackham Auditorium 4pm

MESA and Mixed at Michigan Presents - Mixing It Up: Multiracial identity, Awareness, and Action MESA Office (Union 3rd floor), 6pm

February 13, 2020

FYE Presents - Funds of Knowledge: Reclaiming Strengths Through Identity And Community South Quad Afro American Lounge; 6pm

February 14, 2020

Library's Douglass Day Celebration, Hatcher Library Gallery 1pm


February 15, 2020

Black Student Union Presents Skating Party Skate Station, 10pm If you plan on attending the party and/or need a ride to the event, please fill out the Google form here by Jan. 8th

February 18, 2020

MESA Presents - Anti-Racism Teach In MESA Office (Union 3rd floor); 6:30pm

February 19, 2020

African Business Club - JOLLOF WARS! In celebration of Black History Month Location North Quad Space 2435​Please find the registration link to the event here ) 7pm

February 23, 2020

Sigma Gamma Rho Presents - Black on Wax Michigan Union (Wolverine Room); 7pm

February 24th, 2020 

Healing from Racial Trauma: Lessons from a Public Health Intervention. Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Justice, and Equity (dije), School of Education and School of Social Work's Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; 3pm

February 25, 2020

Black History Month Closing Celebration Union Ballroom; 6pm

February 27, 2020

SAPAC Presents - Home is Where the Heart Is Michigan Union (SAPAC); 6pm


Black History Month Events