Black History Month focus: Living legends.

By Emily Harrison Weir

“Unknown living legends” in African American history will be the focus of a series of events planned for Mount Holyoke College’s Black History Month.

The events are sponsored by the College’s Association of Pan-African Unity (APAU) and Africana studies.

“This month we acknowledge the impact and importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, but also take time to acknowledge names that are not widely celebrated: Bayard Rustin, Camilla Williams, Solange Knowles … the list goes on,” said Marisha Banks ’15, one of APAU’s Black History Month representatives.

Black History Month events at Mount Holyoke will include talks and book readings, a photography exhibition, community discussions, and a party. Learn more on the Living Legends Tumblr page or at APAU’s Facebook page.

Black History Month events on campus include:

• An art exhibition featuring photos by Reagan Brown ’17 of Mount Holyoke community members who exemplify the hopes and dreams of their black ancestors. On display in the Blanchard Campus Center gallery February 10–14.

• A discussion of issues in the black community, including hip-hop, colorism, and women of color at Mount Holyoke. This talk-and-mocktails event happens at Dean of the College Cerri Banks’s home February 11 at 6 pm.  (RSVP by February 10.) 

• A reading by LaShonda Katrice Barnett, February 12 at 7 pm at the Odyssey Bookshop. Her novel Jam on the Vine is being compared to such classics as Jazz by Toni Morrison and The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

• “Fade to Black: The Untold Stories of Our Legends,” an evening of performances including poetry, song, and dance presented by APAU and the Conscious Poets Society. February 13 at 8 pm in Blanchard Great Room.

• A film and panel discussion: “Women Uncensored: Queerness in the Black Community.” Watch the film The New Black, then hear from panelists discussing what it means to be black and queer. February 15 at 7 pm in Cleveland Hall L-1.

• A reading by Michelle Ann Stephens, who will discuss her book, Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis, and the Black Male Performer, which reveals how racial and sexual difference is both marked by and experienced in the skin. February 18 at 7 pm in Dwight Hall 101.

• A lecture by Markeisha Miner ’99 titled “Urban Renewal: Promise.” February 26 at 7 pm in Kendade Hall 305.