This February, San Jose State University is recognizing Black History Month with a series of exciting and educational events, part of an ongoing effort to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. The various activities are sponsored by Student Involvement, the African American/Black Student Success Center, the Department of African-American Studies, Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and Student Affairs.
“These heritage month celebrations provide visible representation of our students on campus,” said Christopher Yang, the director of the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center, noting that SJSU celebrates four ethnic heritage months. “Students are so busy with all the things they need to work on–class, jobs, family. These events offer a chance to take a break and notice the efforts the campus is making.”
Yang noted that the events allow students of various identities to feel they have support on campus while also allowing an opportunity for campus communities who don’t identify with a particular ethnicity to learn about different cultures.
This year’s Black History Month events got an early start with a 30th anniversary celebration of African studies and a Legends and Legacies talk in January, with many more events planned into March.
For the remainder of the month, students are encouraged to attend weekly events such as the Black Male Collective: Barbershop Talk, the African History Film and Dialogue Series, the Leadership Drop-In Series, and monthly events hosted by the Black Student Union and the Black Women’s Collective. Topics include leadership, intersectionality, spirituality, and African and African-American history.
Visiting Scholar Lecture
On February 14 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Fifth Floor Shiro Room, David G. Holmes, a professor of English and associate dean of curriculum and general education at Pepperdine University, will give a visiting scholar lecture on “Black Religion Matters.” Holmes will examine the influence of Black religious rhetoric on mass civil rights meetings in Birmingham in the 1960s. The event is sponsored by the College of Humanities and the Arts, the Department of Communications, the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies, the Mosaic Cross Cultural Center and the Department of Justice Studies. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
President Mary Papazian visited San Jose’s Emmanuel Baptist Church February 10 as part of the California State University’s annual Super Sunday event, an effort to engage and serve underrepresented students. She and Theodorea Berry, chair of the department of African-American Studies at SJSU spoke with community members about planning for college, with representatives from Student Outreach and Recruitment and the Financial Aid Office also available to answer questions. Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Day will be visiting the Maranatha Christian Center on February 24, as part of the Super Sunday effort.
“Yesterday’s services at Emmanuel Baptist, part of the CSU’s Super Sunday activities, were warm, welcoming and joyful,” President Papazian (@PrezPapazian) following the services. “I was delighted to see many Spartans, which contributed to the energy and enthusiasm. Thank you, Pastor Reynolds, and thanks to your congregation for having me.”
Other Upcoming Events
Special events include a film screening of Black Panther (February 12), mardi gras celebration (February 13), Meet and Greet: Black Students, Faculty and Staff (February 25), and the Spartan Speakers Series on February 20, which features Broadway actor Bryan Terrell Clark, who played the role of George Washington in Hamilton.
Black Panther screening
Tuesday, February 12, 6 – 8 p.m., Student Union Theatre
Wednesday, February 13, 4 – 7 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
National Panhellenic Showcase
Wednesday, February 13, 7 – 9 p.m., Student Union Theatre
Black Male Collective: Barbershop Talk
- Wednesday, February 13, 5 p.m. at Barbers, Inc.
Wednesday, February 27, 5 p.m. at Mosaic Cross Cultural Center
Wednesday, March 13, 5 p.m. at Barbers Inc.
Leadership Drop-In Series
- What Famous Black Leader(s) Inspire You?
Tuesday, February 12, 1:30 – 3 pm, Student Involvement
- Leading While Black
Tuesday, February 19, 1:30 – 3 pm, African-American/Black Student Success Center
- Calling in Black: Handling Racial Battle Fatigue
Tuesday, February 26, 1:30 – 3 pm, African-American/Black Student Success Center
African History Film and Dialogue Series
- African Children and Youth
Tuesday, February 12, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
- Health and Nutrition in the African Community
Tuesday, February 19, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
- African Women
Tuesday, February 26, 6 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
Black Student Union Meeting
Wednesday, February 13, 6:45 pm, Peer Connections
Spartan Speaker Series
Bryan Terrell Clark
Wednesday, February 20, 12 pm, Student Union
Black Women’s Collective
Intersectionality: Being Both Black and a Woman
Thursday, February 21, 6 – 8 pm, TBD’
Meet and Greet: Black Students, Faculty and Staff
Monday, February 25, 11:30 am – 3 pm, Student Union, Meeting Room 3A/3B’
Community Conversation: Black Love
Thursday, February 28, 7 – 9 pm, Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 225
Black Cultural Showcase
Friday, March 1, 6 p.m., Student Union Theatre
Spirituality and Activism
Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., First AME Zion Church
Yard on the Green
Friday, March 8, noon to 3 p.m., Smith and Carlos Sculpture
Hidden Figures Screening
Wednesday, March 13, 6 to 8 p.m, Student Union Theatre
Book Discussion: Becoming
Thursday, March 14, 7 p.m., Washington Square Hall, Room 281H