Each February UMass Dartmouth students, faculty, and staff come together for a month of remembrance celebrating Black life, history, and culture through a series of spirited and insightful events and programming. In a break from the traditional norm on how college campuses celebrate the unique and rich history of the African diaspora, a council of staff, students, and faculty have set out a new path to acknowledge Black history year-round.
The idea of Black History 4 Seasons embodies the idea that Black History Month is more than a month and that Black history is America’s history. The Black History 4 Seasons Council will collaborate with faculty, staff and students to develop new academic, civic, and social programs and events that will occur throughout the year to pay tribute to the Black experience. In appreciation of the significance of working collaboratively with community members, the Black History 4 Seasons Council will work directly with the New Bedford Historical Society to offer and promote events both on campus and in the local community.
The celebration of Black History 4 Seasons will begin with a screening of the PBS documentary series Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, Fighting Back 1957-1962, followed by a public lecture and book signing by UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Professor Emeritus Dr. Thomas Ranuga, February 4, at UMass Dartmouth’s Claire T. Carney Library Robert F. Stoico/FIRSTFED Foundation Grand Reading Room. Dr. Ranuga was born in South Africa and has written numerous articles relating to the struggle against Apartheid. His latest publication is a memoir entitled Surviving Apartheid.
Other events scheduled to take place in February include the annual Share the Dream Banquet and African American Read-In. There will also be a history of stepping event performed by STEP AFRIKA!, which will educate attendees about traditional African stepping and performance. Writer, humanitarian, and BK Nation President Kevin Powell will offer the keynote address at UMass Dartmouth’s 14th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at 8:30 a.m., at the University’s Woodland Commons.
For the complete details on this event and the full schedule of upcoming events: www.umassd.edu/blackhistory. You can also join the conversation on Black History 4 Seasons on social media using #BH4Seasons.