Student in the Gallery

Signature Events

The African American Cultural Center hosts a series of events every year that have come to be known as our Signature Events. Events are open to all students, faculty and staff, and everyone is encouraged to participate and learn.

Black History Month is a time when communities across the nation come together to celebrate the achievements of and by Black Americans and recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Black History Month started as “Negro History Week,” in 1926, conceived by Carter G. Woodson, an influential African American historian, educator, and scholar. In 1976, it became a month-long national observance.

The African American Cultural Center’s annual Harambee! campus welcome celebration offers the opportunity for all to come together at the beginning of the new academic year. Get acquainted with the center and its warm and welcoming community. All are welcome.


Kwanzaa celebrates contributions of the African diaspora, family and the community through the seven principles of the Nguzo Saba.

While celebrated early on campus, Kwanzaa is a week-long holiday, from December 26 through January 1, celebrated by many people of the African diaspora. It is a time to reflect on your actions over the previous year in regard to supporting the diaspora and to renew your commitments for the following year.


Join us each January for events celebrating and commemorating the great Martin Luther King, Jr. Past speakers have included Dick Gregory, Iyanla Vanzant, Symone Sanders and Benjamin Jealous as well as lectures by numerous NC State scholars and immersive VR exhibits. For more information, please visit the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Campus Commemoration” page.

During Black History Month, Witherspoon Student Center transforms into a living history of Black luminary figures reenacted by NC State students. Hear their words, learn their achievements and see history come to life throughout the building. For more information, please visit the “Blacks in Wax” page.

The annual Ebony Harlem Awards honor exceptional achievements of students and student organizations affiliated with the African American Cultural Center. We invite you to attend this special recognition ceremony of the best and brightest of NC State.