University News

Black History Month to Mark Freedom's Fight

Published: February 08, 2013 | Category: Special Events

Black History Month began in 1926, half a century after the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., when a week was set-aside in February to promote achievements of black Americans. Coinciding with Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas’ birthdays, the event inspired communities nationwide to organize celebrations. Now, 87 years later, Southern Utah University is carrying on this long-held tradition in a month long celebration to recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S. history and at SUU.

From February 5 through February 28, films, presentations, performances, panel discussions, and even a little thematic dining will be offered across campus in celebration of the African American culture and history.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of History, Sociology and Anthropology have coordinated their efforts with the SUU Black Student Union (BSU) to bring SUU weekly events to commemorate Black History Month.

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this year’s theme is “Black Freedom in the Civil War Era.”

Dr. Earl Mulderink, professor of history at SUU, explained, “The black American experience is much different than the white American experience, and being able to commend these differences and learn how to better work with one another is crucial for everyone’s education.”

Anticipating the upcoming events he and his peers have worked to coordinate, Meskerem Tadesse, BSU student director, explained, “Participating in these activities helps the entire community honor all African Americans that have made positive changes to our society. This month helps everyone see the importance of human rights year round.”

The entire schedule of all SUU’s Black History Month festivities is included on the Campus Calendar at The schedule includes:

February 5 - Film Screening: Underground Railroad
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 7 - Film Screening: Glory
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 12 - “The Ties that Bind: Slavery, Family Values and the Problem of Freedom in Civil War-era America”
Presented by guest speaker, Dr. Rebecca de Schweintz
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 14 - Film Screening: The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 19 - Film Screening: Black Confederates: The Forgotten Men in Gray
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 20 - The annual Soul Food Café
Featuring recipes from BSU members to give visitors a taste of favorite African American cuisine. Dinner is $8.95 for the all-you-can-eat buffet and no cost to students with an SUU meal plan.
Thunderbird Dining Circle, 5:30–7 p.m.

February 21 - “Another Kind of Richmond Fire: Black Freedom in the Former Confederate Capital”
Presented by Dr. Chip McLeod
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 22 - Annual Step Show
Bringing top step groups from Nevada and Utah to perform on SUU’s campus. Tickets are $3 for SUU students with valid student ID and children under the age of 18, and $5 for the general public.
Auditorium, 7 p.m.

February 26 - “The Emancipation Proclamation and Total War”
Presented by Dr. Larry L. Ping
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 27 - “Black Freedom, Then and Now”
A panel presentation by members of the Black Student Union
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

February 28 - “Fighting for Freedom: The Men of the 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry”
Presented by Dr. Earl Mulderink
Centrum 227, 7 p.m.

Prior to his presentation that will conclude the Black History Month festivities at SUU, Mulderink will be signing his recently published book, New Bedford’s Civil War, in the SUU Bookstore, from 6 – 6:30 p.m.

Students can use all the activities during Black History month to account for the one-credit classes, History 2922 and 3922, but every event is open to the general public as well.

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