Celebrate Black History Month at UA with Speakers, Tours, More

  • February 1st, 2022

To honor, explore and celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans on campus and beyond, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is hosting a wealth of activities and events on campus for Black History Month.

A Black woman smiles at the camera. She is wearing a pink shirt, with a pearl necklace.
Lisa S. McNair, the sister of Denise McNair who died in the 16th Street Church Bombing, will be the headline speaker this year.

Lisa S. McNair, motivational speaker and sister of Denise McNair, who was killed in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, will headline the month’s events with a virtual keynote address on Feb. 15. Alabama’s poet laureate, Ashley M. Jones, who is the first Black poet laureate in the state’s history, is also slated to speak to campus this month.

Here’s a round-up of Black History Month events.

DEI: Coffee & Conversation

Feb. 1 at the Intercultural Diversity Center in the UA Student Center, 8-10:30 a.m.

The monthly Coffee and Conversation program will focus on this year’s national theme of Black Health and Wellness, featuring Dr. Pamela Payne Foster, Dr. Stephanie McClure and Dr. Joy Bradley. Dr. Pamela Payne Foster will discuss her role on campus as the Deputy Director for Community Outreach for the College’s Institute for Rural Health Research. Dr. McClure will cover the CommuniVax research project she piloted on campus and how the project seeks to bring about equitable COVID-19 vaccination rates. Dr. Bradley will discuss the role and importance of All of Us, covering the available resources, and ways in which one may get involved. Breakfast, coffee and other refreshments will be provided. For more information, email the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at diversity@ua.edu.

Autherine Lucy: Forgotten Hero 

Feb 2 at Malone-Hood Plaza, 9-10:30 a.m.

Join Associate Professor Meredith Bagley from the department of communications studies on a campus tour focused on the events of Autherine Lucy’s 1956 enrollment at UA and the ongoing, dynamic public memory landscape that is the UA campus. Visit key sites of history and memory that we walk amongst every day.

Unreconciled: Race, History and Higher Education

Feb. 2 at Gorgas Library, Camellia and Yellowhammer Rooms, 11:30 a.m.

The University of Alabama Libraries is hosting Dr. Arthur Dunning for a guest lecture about his experience with the Jim Crow era, integrating the UA football team and more.

Unreconciled: Race, History and Higher Education

Feb. 2 at Gorgas Library, Camellia and Yellowhammer Rooms, 5:30 p.m.

The University of Alabama Libraries is hosting Dr. Arthur Dunning for a guest lecture about his experience with the Jim Crow era, integrating the Alabama football team and more.

C&IS Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Lecture by Lee Sentell

Feb. 3 at 118 Graves Hall, 3:30 p.m.

Lee Sentell will discuss “What Happened Here Changed the World: The U.S. Civil Rights Trail.” All are welcome to attend this presentation to learn more about the movement that changed America and dive deeper into historical sites across the United States.

Social Justice Movie Series: “Target: Philadelphia”

Feb. 4, Virtual, 7 p.m.

Participants will explore the rise of police militarization within the parallel contexts of Black nationalism and the systemic disenfranchisement that incubates movements like Black Lives Matter, and the veracity of American exceptionalism will be examined from a targeted perspective. Watch here.

Dr. Trudier Harris Black Scholars Bowl

Feb. 5, Bryant Conference Center, 9 a.m.

Hosted by the BFSA, five students will represent the University of Alabama in the Black Scholars Bowl against several other Alabama universities and colleges.

Wakanda Scholarship Ball

Feb. 5, Bryant Conference Center, 6 p.m.

The inaugural Wakanda Scholarship Ball, hosted by the BFSA, invites all to its dinner event. Guests are asked to dress up in royal clothing or traditional African attire. Tickets required.

TEDTalk Tuesdays: “Why Your Doctor Should Care About Social Justice” 

Feb. 8, Virtual, noon to 1 p.m.

Participants will hear Mary Bassett’s firsthand experience with the AIDS epidemic, the structural inequities embedded in the world’s political and economic organizations, and inequities that make marginalized people more vulnerable.

Food for Thought: Those Who Paved the Way

Feb. 9 at the Intercultural Diversity Center in the UA Student Center, noon to 1 p.m.

Participants will hear from some of UA’s firsts in their respective areas as they share their journeys, achievements and helpful insight on navigating corporate spaces as an African American. Register here.

TEDTalk Tuesdays: “The Problem with Race-based Medicine”

Feb. 15, Virtual, noon to 1 p.m.

Global scholar and University of Pennsylvania civil rights sociologist and law professor Dorothy Roberts is featured. Participants will learn how doctors still use race as a medical shortcut, make important decisions like pain tolerance based on a patient’s skin color and how to end race-based medicine.

Black History Month Keynote: Lisa S. McNair 

Feb. 15, Virtual, 6 p.m.

McNair is the oldest living sister of Denise McNair, one of the four girls killed in the infamous 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Lisa McNair is a national public speaker under her own business, Speak Lisa, where she shares the story of Denise’s life, her heinous murder and how it affected her family and the city of Birmingham. Lisa McNair often speaks on reconciliation, social justice and conflict resolution. She says, “Love is the only way for understanding, reconciliation and peace in the world in which we live.” Registration required.

A Black woman poses at the camera.
Alabama Poet Laureate Ashley M. Jones is scheduled to speak in February.

Autherine Lucy: Forgotten Hero

Feb 16 at Malone-Hood Plaza, 9-10:30 a.m.

Join Associate Professor Meredith Bagley from the department of communications studies on a campus tour focused on the events of Autherine Lucy’s 1956 enrollment at UA and the ongoing, dynamic public memory landscape that is the UA campus. Visit key sites of history and memory that we walk amongst every day.

Social Justice Movie Series: “Agents of Change”

Feb. 18, Virtual, 7 p.m.

Participants will examine the racial conditions on college campuses across the U.S. in the late 1960s, focusing on student demands at two seminal protests: San Francisco State in 1968 and Cornell University in 1969. Many of the same demands for curricular changes, increased minority student recruitment, and the hiring of minority faculty are surfacing in campus protests today, revealing the intersections America continues to face.

Denise McNair Exhibition

Feb. 21-March 19 at the Intercultural Diversity Center in the UA Student Center, noon to 5 p.m.

In partnership with the Civil Rights Institute, the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion presents the inaugural viewing of personal items of Denise McNair, a victim of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Sept. 15, 1963. For more information, email the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Diversity Speakers Series: Alabama Poet Laureate 

Feb. 22, Virtual, 6 p.m.

Ashley M. Jones is Alabama’s poet laureate (2022-26) and teaches in the creative writing department at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and is part of the core faculty of the Converse College Low Residency MFA Program. She will be speaking about creative writing and its importance. Registration required.

Black History Month 2022

Discover more stories, events and resources for UA’s Black History Month 2022 celebration.

Contact

Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie, Strategic Communications, caroline.mckenzie@ua.edu or 205-348-0825

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.