2015 African American History Month

Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)
1915 – 2015 A Century of Black Life, History and Culture

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” Frederick Douglass


Margaret Taylor Burroughs (1917–2010) was co-founder 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 the artist and educator permanently installed on the fourth floor of the Adams Library. See this beautiful collection and view the libguide at Outside Link

Sunday, February 1

1 – 3:30 p.m., RISD Metcalf Auditorium/Chace Center
19th Annual Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading

Langston Hughes’ powerful and poignant poems, dating from the Harlem Renaissance through the 1960s, are read aloud by members of the community accompanied by the Daniel Ian Smith Jazz Trio.

Sponsored by the Rhode Island School of Design. Free and open to the public. Reception following the event.

Tuesday, February 3

2 – 3:30 p.m., SU 307
Cultural competence for Black History Month Webinar

Presenter, Johnny Taylor Jr., President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund discusses best practices form DiversityInc.’s Top 50 companies on finding and developing Black talent, educating the workforce about Black history plus information on supplier diversity. Other topics include the meaning of racism and Black role models in corporate America.

Sponsored by The Unity Center and the Office of Student Life

Thursday, February 5

4 - 6 p.m., Student Union 307
Racial Understanding: An Open Forum

This facilitated discussion allows public commentary about the current climate of race relations on campus and in the wider community.  Moderated by the director of The Unity Center with discussion of the effects of racial profiling, mass incarceration and community organizing on life and death in America.

Sponsored by the RIC Unity Center and L.I.F.E.

Monday, February 9

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

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.

Tuesday, February 10

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

The Rhode Island Blood Center is the only source of blood products for the state's hospitals and relies solely on volunteer donations. Roll up your sleeve and save a life!

Sponsored by the RIC Office of Health Promotion and Unity Center.

Wednesday, February 11

12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m., Gender and Women’s Studies Suite/Adams Library 1B
Free Movie - Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes

Described by producer/director Byron Hurt as a "loving critique" of a number of disturbing trends in the world of rap music, this documentary provides a riveting examination of manhood, sexism, and homophobia in hip-hop culture. Critically acclaimed for its fearless engagement with issues of race, gender violence, and the corporate exploitation of youth culture, the film features interviews with Mos Def, Fat Joe, Russell Simmons and commentary from Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Michael Eric Dyson.

Sponsored by Gender and Women’s Studies.

Thursday, February 12

6:30 - 8 p.m., Student Union Cafe
Black History and Trivia Game

First prize $100, second prize $50, third prize $25.
Hint: Familiarity with African American History Month programming could mean a better chance of winning! Contestants must be Rhode Island College students and are randomly selected from the audience. Contact the Unity Center for additional information (456-8791). Contestants receive a chance to win a Hoodie Day sweatshirt.

Sponsored by Student Activities & The Unity Center

Friday, February 13

12:30 – 2 p.m., location TBA
Movie: Belle

Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a British admiral who plays an important role in the campaign to abolish slavery in England - based on the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle. This 2014 film subtly explores the intersections of Belle’s lineage and social status while delivering the all the aesthetic pleasures of a period piece. 

Saturday, February 14

6:30 – 11:30 p.m., Omni Providence Hotel, One West Exchange Street, Providence
32nd Annual Rhode Island Black Heritage Society Ball

The theme for this year's black tie event is:  Education and Awareness.  The Black Heritage Society will recognize community groups that provide dynamic educational and after-school programs for urban youth.  Learn more about the Society's activities, events and plans for 2015, enjoy a wonderful dinner and finish the evening with dancing and entertainment provided by The Mac Odom Band.
Tickets: $100, on sale now

Sponsored by the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society. For more information, visit Outside

Monday, February 16

6 – 8p.m., Alger Hall room 110
Free Movie: Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station is a fictionalized recounting of the shooting of 22-year old Oscar Grant by a Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer on New Year's Day of 2009. The film follows Grant's life in the 24 hours leading up to the cold-blooded shooting. Returning home from a New Year's Eve celebration, Grant finds himself in the midst of an altercation, starring Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer. Winner 2013- Audience Award and Grand Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival, Best First Film from the New York Film Critics Circle, and Best New Filmmaker from the Boston Society of Film Critics.

Sponsored by the Unity Center and the NAACP-Rhode Island Chapter.

Thursday, February 19

6 – 7 p.m., Adams Library Fortes Room
Stories in Stone: America’s Colonial African Cemetery

This revealing presentation by local historian and preservationist, Keith Stokes, introduces the audience to the lives of Africans and later African Americans in Newport, RI through their final resting place. The Common Burying Ground on Farewell Street holds what has been recognized as perhaps the oldest collection of burial markers of both enslaved and freed Africans in America with births dating as far back as the late 1600s.

Sponsored by The Unity Center, and the African Alliance of RI

Saturday, February 21

6 – 9 p.m., Student Union Ballroom
Journey to the Motherland

The ninth annual celebration of African cultures includes dinner, music and entertainment. Doors open at 6 p.m. For more information email or contact the Unity Center at 456-8791.

Tickets on sale through Feb. 20th ; $5 in advance for RIC students with ID, $7 general admission, $10 at the door

Sponsored by RIC Women of Color.

Thursday, February 26

Hoodie Day

Wear your hoodie all day long in memory of Trayvon Martin. Skittles and Arizona watermelon juice drink (limited supply) available at the Unity Center

Sponsored by the RIC Student Union

Page last updated: February 14, 2015