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Feb. 4, 2021

Media Advisory: University of Arizona Celebrates Black History Month

  • What: Several virtual events in February will celebrate Black History Month, including a talk by a staff writer from The New Yorker, a showcase of the university's Africana Studies Program and a presentation on the legacy of civil rights icons.
  • When: Throughout February. Find more information below.
  • Where: All events will be held online. Register at the links below.

TUCSON, Ariz. – Groups across the University of Arizona will hold events to celebrate Black History Month, including three presentations that are part of the College of Humanities' Tucson Humanities Festival.

The events will feature local and national guest speakers covering a range of topics, such as voter disenfranchisement, school segregation and UArizona athletes who broke color barriers. The lineup also includes a virtual showcase of the university's Africana Studies Program, which is sponsoring several events. Following are a few of the presentations planned.

Whose Vote Counts? A Virtual Event with Jelani Cobb | Monday, Feb. 8, 4 p.m.

Attend on Zoom, and sign up on Eventbrite to receive email reminders about the event.

Jelani Cobb, a staff writer at The New Yorker and Ira A. Lipman Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, will discuss the role of race in our elections. In his October 2020 documentary "Whose Vote Counts," Cobb reported on allegations of voter disenfranchisement, how unfounded claims of extensive voter fraud entered the political mainstream, and rhetoric and realities around mail-in ballots. Cobb will reflect on what happened and where we go from here. This event is part of the College of Humanities' Tucson Humanities Festival.

Tucson's Black Community and School Segregation | Tuesday, Feb. 9, 4 p.m.

Attend on Zoom.

Between 1909 and 1911, the Tucson school board enacted a policy of segregation that divided the city. This presentation by Bernard Wilson, an independent researcher and author of "The Black Residents of Tucson and Their Achievements: A Reference Guide," will explore the history of that decision. The event will run for about 45 minutes, followed by Q&A. This event is the first of a two-part series presented by the Arizona State Museum in partnership with Arizona Humanities.

Breaking Down Barriers With Arizona Athletics | Monday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m.

Attend on Zoom.

This event will honor former student-athletes and coaches who broke color barriers in their respective sports at the University of Arizona.

The Spirit of Spirituals: Famous and Stirring Songs of Faith, and Their Stories | Tuesday, Feb. 16, 4 p.m.

Attend on Zoom.

This presentation by Súle Greg Wilson, an educator, musician, dancer, storyteller, author, archivist and director of the Smithsonian Institution's Afro-American Index Project, will explore African and post-African music, the stories behind the songs, their cultural significance, and why they continue to endure. The event will run for about 45 minutes, followed by a Q&A. This event is the second of a two-part series presented by the Arizona State Museum in partnership with Arizona Humanities.

Black History Month Virtual Showcase | Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m.

Attend on Zoom.

The UArizona Africana Studies Program invites the public to hear from guests, professors, alumni and students about the program and its research, community partnerships and more. Bryan Carter, an associate professor and director of the Center for Digital Humanities, will introduce Africana studies professors, alumni and students, and special guests including attorney Richard Davis and Barbea Williams of Barbea Williams Performing Company. This event is part of the College of Humanities' Tucson Humanities Festival.

Who Framed Rosa Parks: The Photographic Legacy of Civil Rights Icons | Tuesday, Feb. 23, 4 p.m.

Attend on Zoom, and sign up on Eventbrite to receive email reminders about the event.

Brenna Wynn Greer, an associate professor of history at Wellesley College, will give a talk on the collaboration of civil rights activists and media that resulted in visuals and ideals that set the terms for Black protest and Black history. Greer is a historian of race, gender and culture in the 20th-century United States who explores historical connections between capitalism, social movements and visual culture. She teaches topics in 20th-century U.S. and African American history and is currently working on her second book, which examines the postwar development of Black commercial publishing and its significance within U.S. culture and Black life. This event is part of the College of Humanities' Tucson Humanities Festival.

Film Screening and Panel Discussion: "Mr. SOUL!" | Wednesday, Feb. 24, 4 p.m.

Find more information and register on All Events.

Before Oprah, before Arsenio, there was Ellis Haizlip – Mr. SOUL! On the heels of the civil rights movement, the public television variety show SOUL! offered an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music and politics – voices that had few other options for national television exposure. Panelists for the virtual event include Tani Sanchez, UArizona professor of Africana studies, and Jacqueline Trimble, chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University.

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Media contact:

Kyle Mittan
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 40 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2019 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $734 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.


Black History Month