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2016 African American History Month

Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
Adobe PDFOutside LinkHallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered; we come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered. – "Lift Every Voice and Sing," stanza 2


Margaret Taylor Burroughs (1915-2010), cofounder of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, received an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from Rhode Island College in 1990. Visit the collection of linocut prints by Burroughs in the Adams Library or view the collection online at Outside

Tuesday, Feb. 2

8 – 10 p.m., Student Union, Room 422
Movie: "12 Years a Slave"

In the antebellum United States, Outside LinkSolomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. This film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor and Academy Award-winner Lupita Nyong’o.
Sponsored by the RIC student organization Women of Color

Thursday, Feb. 4

5:30 – 7:30 p.m., The Unity Center, Donovan Dining Center lower level
Movie: "Lila & Eve"

Lila, a grief-stricken mother reeling from her son’s murder, is urged to take matters into her own hands, sparking a journey of revenge and recovery. This film stars Jennifer Lopez and RIC alumna Viola Davis.
Sponsored by The Unity Center

Monday, Feb. 8

6 - 7 p.m., The Unity Center, Donovan Dining Center lower level
Movie: "Prince Among Slaves"

This documentary explores the dramatic true story of an African prince, Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, who was captured in a war in West Africa and enslaved in Mississippi for 40 years. He was heir to Futa Jallon, a West African Empire the size of Great Britain. Twenty years into his enslavement he was reunited with a marooned sailor that his father had rescued decades earlier. This event brought public attention to his plight and set him on a course for freedom.
Sponsored by The Unity Center

Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 8-9

11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
Blood Drive & Marrow Registration
Second Day

Roll up your sleeve and save a life! This blood drive commemorates Dr. Charles Drew, the African American inventor of the modern blood-banking process. Dr. Drew attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, received his first doctorate in medicine in 1933, taught surgery at Howard University Medical School and became the first African American to receive a Doctor of Medical Science degree from Columbia University.
Sponsored by the RIC Office of Health Promotion and the Unity Center, in conjunction with the Rhode Island Blood Center

Wednesday, Feb. 10

12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.,The Unity Center, Donovan Dining Center lower level
FAFSA February Community Lunch

Join Learning for Life for fellowship, food and FAFSA advice. Financial aid professionals will be available to answer questions and help complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Don’t forget to bring your relevant documents (1040s, W2s).
Sponsored by Learning for Life

Thursday, Feb. 11

4 - 6 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
Panel Discussion: Race Matters

A panel of RIC faculty, staff and students explores the effects of race relations on campus life and society at-large. This discussion is moderated by RIC InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.Questions and answers by panelists and audience members follow the discussion.
Sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Tuesday, Feb. 16

3 - 4:40 p.m., Adams Library, Reinhardt Room (301)
Lecture: Eddie Soares Tribute—Rhode Island Ambassador of Jazz

Renowned jazz pianist Edwin Jose “Eddie” Soares (1913-1993) was the son of immigrants and a lifelong resident of Providence’s Fox Point. In this presentation, independent scholar and actress Sylvia Ann Soares introduces the music of Eddie Soares, shows archival images of his family, describes community activity in the first Cape Verdean Protestant Church in America and documents a musical career that included the Brown University Jazz Series, Providence’s Celebrity Club and the Jewels of Dixie.
Sponsored by the James P. Adams Library with support from the RIC Committee on College Lectures
This project is made possible through major funding support from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

8 - 10 p.m., Student Union 422
Movie: "The Help"

Three very different women in Mississippi during the Civil Rights movement build an unlikely alliance around a secret writing project about maids and the families for whom they work. This film stars RIC alumna Viola Davis and Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer.
Sponsored by Women of Color

Wednesday, Feb. 17

7 – 9 p.m., Student Union 307
Workshop: Cape Verdean Creole

This event is an opportunity to learn more about Cabo Verde’s culture and language. Learn how creole originated and key words, phrases and greetings. Want to know how much you learned? Take the quiz – no pressure.
Sponsored by Cape Verdean Student Association

Thursday, Feb. 18

6 – 9 p.m., Faculty Center
Community Forum: Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the Diaspora in Rhode Island

The evening begins with a reception, featuring entertainment by Haitian singer Fritza Remy and Dominican poet Elvys Ruiz. Syracuse University Professor of English Silvio Torres-Saillant delivers a keynote titled “The Pain of History in Quisqueya Today,” followed by a community forum moderated by Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Walter Stone. A buffet dinner is included. For ticket information, contact
Sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Rhode Island, in collaboration with the Unity Center

Monday, Feb. 22

6 – 7 p.m., RIC Interfaith Center, Donovan Dining Center lower level
Discussion Group: Black Presence in the Bible

Inspired by the writings of Rev. Walter McCray, this discussion group explores the biblical history of Black peoples as revealed through the scriptures (Book: “Oneness Embraced: Through the Eyes of Tony Evans” by Tony Evans). All are welcome to attend. Light refreshment is provided.
Sponsored by RIC InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and the Interfaith Center

Wednesday, Feb. 24

7-9 p.m., Student Union Cafe
Black History and Trivia Game

Contestants are randomly selected from the audience and must be RIC students. Contact the Unity Center for additional information at 401-456-8791. Contestants receive a chance to win a Hoodie Day sweatshirt. Gift card prizes: first $100, second $50 and third $25. Hint: Familiarity with African American History Month programming could mean a better chance of winning!
Sponsored by Student Activities, the Unity Center and the RIC student organization Harambee

Thursday, Feb. 25

6 – 8:30 p.m., Alex and Ani Hall, Room 138
Panel Discussion: Doctrine of Discovery

This presentation by Kenneth F. Adams, chief of the Upper Mattaponi Indian Tribe in Virginia, and Lawrence E. Wilson, executive director of RIC’s Office of Economic and Leadership Development, examines the little-known Doctrine of Discovery. This doctrine’s sweeping provisions affording European explorers the right to claim Native American lands, enslave Africans and Indians at will and strip these people of their heritage, culture, tribal governance, families and property. A video presentation is followed by a panel discussion about the origins of the doctrine, its impact in the Colonial period and its relevance today.
Sponsored by the Office of Economic and Leadership Development

Friday, Feb. 26

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
Lecture and Exhibit: "Roll Out the Black"

RIC alumna Onna Moniz-John ’78 is a lecturer and collector of Black memorabilia. In this lecture, she displays and discusses pieces from her extensive travelling exhibit containing hundreds of Black memorabilia, from slavery to hip-hop, collected over more than 30 years. Moniz-John’s mission is to raise social consciousness by sharing with all races artifacts that celebrate the contributions, achievements and experiences of African Americans.
Sponsored by The Unity Center and Learning for Life, in conjunction with the CF/RIC Innovation Lab and Mt. Pleasant High School

Hoodie Day

Wear your hoodie up all day long in memory of Trayvon Martin and the scores of other victims of racial profiling across the country. According to a July 2013 report on, the night Trayvon was shot to death by George Zimmerman, the hoodie he wore had a badge with a picture of his dead cousin pinned to it. He carried a bag of Skittles and Arizona watermelon fruit juice cocktail, which he had just purchased. Black lives matter; come to The Unity Center for Skittles and Arizona between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. (Supplies limited.)
Sponsored by The Unity Center

Saturday, Feb. 27

8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Alger Hall, Room 110
Educator Workshops: First Steps: An Exploration of African-American History in Rhode Island

This event provides educators with strategies to teach American history inclusively. Three interactive workshops are offered, followed by a keynote address delivered by Ken Wagner, Rhode Island commissioner of elementary and secondary education. In June 2014 The Rhode Island General Assembly established the Outside Link1696 Historical Commission to develop an African American history curriculum encompassing the historical period from 1696 to 2015 for use in all Rhode Island public schools. The commission’s name pays homage to the first documented group of enslaved Africans who landed aboard the brig Seaflower in Newport in 1696. The work of the commission is continuing under the guidance of a task force headed by the Rhode Island Historical Society. For more information about this symposium, email
Sponsored by the Rhode Island Delta Kappa Gamma Society for Key Women Educators, Epsilon Chapter, and the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development

In the community
Saturday, Feb. 27

Noon., Pot Au Feu restaurant, 44 Custom House Street, Providence
Opening the Oyster

This extraordinary Black culinary event features a full-course dinner of dishes invented by Rhode Island master chefs, a lecture on the history of Rhode Island Black cuisine, an appearance by Pastry Queen of Rhode Island Duchess Quamino and a live performance by Rose Weaver. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Stages of Freedom Swim Empowerment Program. Seating is limited.
Tickets: $100 – Outside Linkbuy now or contact for more black cultural events for everyone!

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For updated information on events, stop by the Unity Center (DDC lower level).

Reasonable accommodation for disabilities may be provided upon request by contacting the Disability Services Center at 401-456-2776.

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Page last updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2016