Our Wings Still Fly: The Beauty and the Burden of Blackness

Black History Month 2019

Black History Month is a time when communities across the nation celebrate the of achievements by Black Americans and recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Starting as “Negro History Week,” in 1926, Black History Month was conceived by Carter G. Woodson, an influential African American historian, educator and scholar. In 1976, it became a month-long national observance. February was selected as the official month to include the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

Traditionally, BHM focuses on experiences of Black people and leaders in the United States. However for NC State’s 2019 celebration we want to create space to honor the legacies, histories and contributions of Black people across the Diaspora. From triumphs and hardships, collective resiliency and community interconnectedness, this year’s theme of “Our Wings Still Fly: the Beauty and the Burden of Blackness” symbolizes the social injustices faced by people of the Diaspora. Yet, through an understanding of the burdens of Blackness we are able to celebrate and embrace the multiple dimensions of prosperity.

Through the celebration of this theme, we will explore:

  • the hardships and triumphs of Blackness;
  • the contributions and resilience of black people;
  • the global diaspora of blackness.

In an effort to focus on collectiveness this year, we placed a significant emphasis on offering a broad yet concentrated range of events to ensure robust attendance. Multicultural Student Affairs aims to have as much attendance as possible for all types of events, from student organizations to the departmental level

Key Events

A few key events to look forward to during the month include, but are not limited to:

  1. The Politicalization and Sexualization of Black Bodies: Annual Exhibition occurring Feb. 11, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the African American Cultural Center Art Gallery on the second floor of Witherspoon Student Center;
  2. AfroFunk: Culture in Motion on Feb. 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in Talley Student Union;
  3. The annual Blacks in Wax Live Museum on Saturday, Feb. 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Witherspoon Student Center.
  4. The Truth About Progress: A Q&A with JillisBlack on Feb. at 28, 2019 in Talley Student Union.

Additional Events

Special thanks to members of the 2019 Black History Month planning committee, including Preston Keith, Jasmine Peters, Joanay Tann, John Miller IV, Erin Elliot, Stephen Ferguson, Nashia Whittenburg and Leah Young.

Erin Elliot is a second-year graduate student in educational psychology and a graduate assistant in Multicultural Student Affairs.