Black History Month, celebrated during the month of February, is a time to recognize the accomplishments and reflect on the struggles of African Americans. And, as we look back on history, it’s an opportunity for us all to better understand our present culture and improve upon our future as a country.

The College of Charleston is celebrating Black History Month with programming and events throughout February. For example, every weekday during February, the Office of Institutional Diversity (OID) will present a CofC Black history fact on digital signage across campus, highlighting an important achievement or contribution of Black members of the campus community. From film screenings to dance classes to book readings, here are some of the events the College is hosting in honor of Black History Month:

Screenings of If These Walls Could Talk
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023
10 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Sottile Theatre

Join the College of Charleston’s Strategic Plan Pillar 3 (employee experience and success) Steering Committee for one of three screenings of the documentary, If These Walls Could Talk. Focusing on the College of Charleston’s complex history with slavery, the film sets ablaze a path for healthy reconciliation within the College community by bringing attention to the labor and ingenuity of enslaved Africans who were tasked with building the first municipal college in the United States. A brief Q&A will follow each screening. The event is free and open to students, faculty and staff.

Avery Research Center building after renovations.We Celebrate Year-Round: Black History Month Open House
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023
4:30-6 p.m.
Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

Explore the rich history of the Avery Research Center, formally the Avery Normal Institute, a school for African Americans founded in 1865. Today the research center serves as a museum and archive aimed at preserving and elevating the history and culture of the African diaspora.

Tara Bynum Reading Pleasures

Reading Pleasures”: An Evening with Tara A. Bynum
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023
7 p.m.
Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture

The Conseula Francis Emerging Scholar Lecture presents Tara A. Bynum, who will discuss her book, Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America. A daring assertion of Black people’s humanity, Reading Pleasures reveals how four Black writers experienced positive feelings and analyzes the ways these emotions served creative, political and racialized ends.

african danceAfrican Dance Class
Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023
5–7 p.m.
Cato Center for the Arts, Room 333

Come join the College of Charleston Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services for an evening of traditional African dance through a class taught by adjunct health and human performance faculty member, Linda Harvey. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing.

Tamika Nunley TalkBlack Women’s History as American History
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023
5:30 p.m.
Education Center, Septima Clark Auditorium (Room 118)

Join the Department of History for its annual Black History Month lecture, “Black Women’s History as American History and the Everyday Struggles over Liberty and Justice,” presented by guest lecturer Tamika Nunley. An associate professor of history at Cornell University, Nunley’s courses and research focus on the history of slavery, African American women’s and gender history, the early Republic and the American Civil War. This event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by history department and the OID, among others.

Faculty Book Celebration 2023

Faculty Book Celebration with African American Studies
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023
5 p.m.
Education Center, Septima Clark Auditorium (Room 118)

Join the African American Studies Program to celebrate recent faculty publications by Gary Jackson, associate professor of English, and by Mari N. Crabtree, associate professor of African American studies. In Jackson’s origin story: poems, he outlines a family history in an attempt to reconnect with estranged family and familial ghosts divided by years of diaspora. Crabtree’s My Soul Is a Witness: The Traumatic Afterlife of Lynching unearths how African American victims and survivors found ways to live through and beyond the horrors of lynching, offering a theory of African American collective trauma and memory rooted in the ironic spirit of the blues sensibility. 

No Justice Without Reparations
Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023
3-4:30 p.m.
School of Education Alumni Center
The 2023 Geography Lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science, African Studies Program and Pre-Law Advising Program, features alumnus Mike Delagrange’04, who will speak on his work in humanitarian law and experiences in Africa and South Asia.

Wendi Manuel-Scott

Wendi Manuel-Scott ’94

1967 Legacy Program – Wendi Manuel-Scott ’94 Lecture
Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023
3:15 p.m.
School of Education Alumni Center

CofC alumna Wendi Manuel-Scott will discuss the introduction of African American history classes at CofC in the 1990s and her journey as a Black feminist historian. Manuel-Scott is professor of integrative studies and history at George Mason University and an affiliate faculty member in their departments of women and gender studies, African and African American studies, and in the John Mitchel Jr. Program for History, Justice, and Race at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution. On Friday, Feb. 24, Manuel-Scott will also hold a workshop for the 1967 Legacy Scholars on research methodologies and research questions in African American studies.