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Celebrating Black History Month 2024

February is Black History Month!

As a Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, like W. E. B. Du Bois before him, believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over prejudice. His hopes to raise awareness of African American's contributions to civilization was realized when he and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), conceived and announced Negro History Week in 1925.

The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926 that encompassed the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The response was overwhelming: Black history clubs sprang up; teachers demanded materials to instruct their pupils; and progressive whites, not simply white scholars and philanthropists, stepped forward to endorse the effort.

By the time of Woodson's death in 1950, Negro History Week had become a central part of African American life and substantial progress had been made in bringing more Americans to appreciate the celebration. The Black Awakening of the 1960s dramatically expanded the consciousness of African Americans about the importance of black history, and the Civil Rights movement focused Americans of all colors on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture.

The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation's bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first Black History Month. Since then, each American president has issued Black History Month proclamations. 



Celebrate Black History Month with Viking Dining:

  • BHM Lunch in North Campus Café: Wednesday, February 21 and 28 

    • Coordinated by the inclusive excellence office

  • BHM Dinner in Marsh Dining Hall: Every Wednesday-February, 7, 14, 21, and 28 starting at 5 pm 

    • Coordinated by the Black Student Union, Haitian Cultural Club and The Brotherhood


Campus Events:

Thursday, February 8

Black LGBT+ Icons and History

SSU Alliance

  • 5 pm
  • ECC, MLK Jr. Room


Friday, February 9

Kulture Karaoke Night

Black Student Union

  • 6-8 pm
  • ECC Underground

Thursday, February 15

Let's Talk About It Discussion

Black Student Union

  • 6-8 pm
  • Marsh Hall Petrowski Room


Wednesday, February 21

The Afro-Latinx Experience: Diversity within the Black Diaspora

Latin American Student Organization and Inclusive Excellence

  • 4:30-6 pm
  • ECC MLK Room

Join us for a facilitated discussion on how Black identity has evolved in the diaspora as a result of colonialism.


Monday, February 26

Black Futures at an HSI-MSI

Black Employee Resource Group and Inclusive Excellence

  • 11 am-1 pm
  • ECC Commuter Lounge

Join us for affinity lunch for Black-identified students and employees as well as a discussion on Black contributions to and benefits of being an HSI-MSI (Hispanic Serving and Minority Serving Institution). RSVP to this event. 


Tuesday, February 27

A Discussion with Dr. Shabazz

Inclusive Excellence

  • 4-6:30 pm
  • ECC Veterans Hall 

Please join us for a keynote and discussion with Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz, Daughter of Malcolm x, award-winning author, educator & producer, followed by a light reception, meet & greet, and book signing. Free tote bags!

About Dr. Shabazz:

Dr. Shabazz has authored five historical novels, has served as project advisor for the PBS award-winning film, Prince Among Slaves documentary, and is currently producing a television series based on her latest publication, The Awakening of Malcolm X, with Sony Pictures Television’s TriStar.

She is Chairperson of the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center Board of Trustees. In her work to preserve the legacy of her parents, she has dedicated herself to institution-building and intergenerational leadership development with the tenants of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Shabazz is a member of the Advisory Council for the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition; a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc; and she serves as a Trustee for the Harlem Symphony Orchestra.

Grounded in the commitments of her parents, Dr. Shabazz emphasizes empowerment and inclusion in her teaching and scholarship.


Wednesday, February 28

Annual Black History Month Dinner

Black Student Union 

  • 7-9 pm
  • ECC Veterans Hall 


Thursday, February 29

Charlotte Forten Hall Dedication

  • 11 am-1 pm
  • Viking Hall

Join us for food, community, and a showcase of Charlotte Forten at Salem State as we dedicate the university’s newest residence hall in her honor to continue to celebrate the legacy, life and social commitment of our earliest African American graduate.


Thursday, February 29

BHM Trivia: Queer Edition

SSU Alliance

  • 5 pm
  • ECC MLK Jr. Room

To request accommodations for these events, please contact Disability Services at 978.542.6217 or email

Carlie Pierre
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