February is Black Heritage Month

'Young, Gifted, and Black' is the guiding theme of the 2017 Black Heritage Month celebration at Connecticut College. The College is shifting from a focus on black history to black heritage as an acknowledgment of historical, contemporary and future contributions made by people of African ancestry in the United States and around the world.

Please check back as events are added throughout the month or consult the online College Calendar. For further information contact unity@conncoll.edu

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Black Heritage Month Kick-off: Young, Gifted, and Black

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Ernst Common Room, Blaustein Humanities Center

The event includes dinner, a celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Service Awards nominees, and a keynote address by alumna and Board of Trustee member Chakena Sims '16.

RSVP to unity@conncoll.edu

Open to campus community only.

Monday, Feb. 6

Umoja Film Screening - Roots

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: College Center at Crozier-Williams, 2nd floor, Cro's Nest

Hear, see and feel the voices and experiences of enslaved black Africans in America through the lens of the classic story, "Roots," retold in a miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel. Roots paints a portrait of American slavery through the journey of a family that has a will to survive through many hardships. During this Black Heritage Month let's all reflect, remember and transform our ideas surrounding the narrative of black lives in America. *Pizza will be provided.

Contact: unity@conncoll.edu

Tuesday, Feb. 7  

#StayWoke: What Black Lives Matter Can Teach Us About Surviving in 2017

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: Ernst Common Room, Blaustein Humanities Center

Tanisha C. Ford is Associate Professor of Black American Studies and History at the University of Delaware. She is the author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style, and the Global Politics of Soul (UNC Press, 2015), which narrates the powerful intertwining histories of the Black Freedom movement and the rise of the global fashion industry. Liberated Threads won the 2016 Organization of American Historians’ Liberty Legacy Foundation Award for best book on civil rights history. She studies social movement history, feminist issues, material culture, popular culture and entertainment, and fashion, beauty, and body politics. Her academic and public writing and cultural commentary has been featured in diverse media outlets and publications including the New York Times, the Root, the New Yorker, Ebony, NPR: Code Switch, Fusion, News One, New York Magazine: The Cut, Yahoo! Style, Vibe Vixen, Feministing, the Journal of Southern History, NKA: Journal of Contemporary African Art, The Black Scholar, and New York City’s HOT 97. Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Center for Black Music Research, among others.

Contact: David Canton, dacan@conncoll.edu

Friday, Feb. 10

Shannon LaNier: ‘Jefferson’s Children’

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: United States Coast Guard Academy, Leamy Hall

Shannon Lanier, descendant of Sally Hemming and Thomas Jefferson, will discuss the impact of this American story. Co-sponsored by the New London Chapter of the NAACP, the Connecticut College Division of Institutional Equity and Inclusion, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Contact: unit2010@newlondonnaacp.org

Monday, Feb. 13 

The Racial Wealth Gap: Neoliberalism and the Paradox of Persistent Disparity event for High Achieving Black Americans

Darrick Hamilton, The New School

Time: 5 p.m.

Location: New London Hall, room 101

High achieving black Americans, as measured by education, still exhibit large economic and health disparities relative to their white peers, especially in the domain of wealth. Hamilton will discuss how the post-racial politics of personal responsibility and “neoliberal paternalism” troupes discourage a public responsibility for the conditions of the poor and black Americans, and instead encourage punitive measures to “manage…surplus populations” of the poor and black Americans. Hamilton will present an alternative frame, stratification economics, to better understand the paradox above. Ultimately, he will explore the potential physical and psychological costs of stigma and, ironically, exerting individual agency, which in the context of racist or stigmatized environment, lead to a limited role of education and income as protective factors for blacks relative to whites.

Darrick Hamilton is the director of the doctoral program in public and urban policy, and jointly appointed as an associate professor of economics and urban policy at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy; and the Department of Economics, The New School for Social Research at The New School in New York. He is a faculty research fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School, co-associate director of the Cook Center on Social Equity, and the immediate past-president of the National Economic Association (NEA).

Co-sponsored by the Economics and African Studies departments.

Contact: David Canton, dacan@conncoll.edu

Friday, Feb. 17

Step Afrika!

Time: 8 p.m.

Location: Palmer Auditorium

Step Afrika! has grown to become one of the top 10 African American dance companies in the United States and the largest African American-led arts organization in Washington, DC. Join the presentation that blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. The show will integrate songs, storytelling humor and audience participation.

Tickets: $5 for faculty, staff and community members, available online. Free for students with student ID, available at Cro 218 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact: Office of Student Engagement, (860) 439-2825

Monday, Feb. 20

Umoja Film Screening - Roots (second screening)

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: College Center at Crozier-Williams, 2nd floor, Cro's Nest

Hear, see and feel the voices and experiences of enslaves black Africans in America through the lens of the classic story, "Roots," retold in a miniseries based on Alex Haley's 1976 novel. Roots paints a portrait of American slavery through the journey of a family that has a will to survive through many hardships. During this Black Heritage Month let's all reflect remember and transform our ideas surrounding the narrative of black lives in America. Pizza will be provided.

Contact: unity@conncoll.edu

Wednesday, Feb. 22

‘Caribbean Women in the Diaspora: More than dollars and cents’

Dr. Natasha Mortley

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: College Center at Crozier-Williams, 2nd floor, Cro’s Nest

Contact: Andrea Baldwin, abaldwin@conncoll.edu

Thursday, Feb. 23

Umoja's Black Heritage Month

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: College Center at Crozier-Williams, 1962 Room

Join Umoja in a celebration of black culture. Our annual Black Heritage Month dinner helps to shine light on the current topics impacting the black community. This year's theme, 'Young, Gifted, and Black,' will highlight young minds and their contribution to today's society. 

Contact: unity@conncoll.edu 

Open to campus community only.

Saturday, Feb. 25

Conn Coll's Chicken & Waffles

Time: 6 p.m.

Location: Unity House

Forget about Roscoe's; come eat some homemade chicken and waffles, a classic 'soul food' dish prominent in the black community. Sponsored by Umoja and REF. 

Contact: unity@conncoll.edu

Monday, Feb. 27

‘Blackness, Coloniality and Decoloniality: A Prolegomenon to Ten Theses on Coloniality and Decoloniality’

Nelson Maldonado-Torres

Time: 4:30 p.m.

Location: Charles E. Shain Library, Charles Chu Room

This presentation will focus on the contributions of black existential phenomenology and contemporary black activism. Student activism in South Africa and the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States will serve as primary references alongside theoretical and philosophical production on blackness.

Contact: Nathalie Etoke, netokeil@conncoll.edu

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Black Heritage Month Keynote Address

Patrisse Cullors, Co-founder, #BlackLivesMatter

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: College Center at Crozier-Williams, 1962 Room

A month of innovative programming, discussion, and artistic expression will culminate with a keynote address by Patrisse Cullors, co-founder of the global movement #BlackLivesMatter.

Cullors will offer concrete examples of how to address both white supremacy and implicit bias, and discuss strategies to reckon with anti-blackness, particularly in predominantly white environments that engage in practices of erasure and silencing. This event is free and open to the public, but there is limited seating.

Contact: diei@conncoll.edu