Black History Month 2021
Please join us the Rutgers University – New Brunswick community and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center as we celebrate Black History Month with events that reflect the richness of the African diaspora and historical contributions of our trailblazers. If you have questions about events, please reach out to the PRCC via email! Enjoy the event offerings below and we hope you’ll join us in community!

Why is Black History Month Celebrated in February?

Black History Month is an annual celebration and time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in US History. Black History Month grew out of Negro History Week, the brainchild of Carter G. Woodson, which was established in 1926.

Download Virtual Zoom Background

Download and use these free virtual Zoom backgrounds all Black History Month long!
Need instructions on how to use a virtual background in Zoom?

A Dream of Kikeokàn/Kuponya: Black and Native American Healing

Sunday, January 31 | 6:00 p.m.
Event Link

Rutgers University’s Black Student Union and the Cultural Center Collaborative join together to celebrate Black History Month and honor Native American heritage. The theme, “A Dream of Kikeokàn/Kuponya: Black and Native American Healing” is centered in the healing practices of both the Black and Lenni-Lenape people. Kikeokàn and Kuponya (Lenape and Swahili terms, respectively) both translate to the English word “healing”. Black and indigenous people have experienced structural violence, countless acts of injustices, and trauma in recent history.  We come together to center healing so that we may increase our strength and build our capacity to fight for peace and justice in solidarity. The featured keynote speakers, President Jonathan Holloway, Dr. Cornel West, and the Rev. J. R. Norwood will bring awareness to the history of our individual struggles and resiliency of our social justice movements.

Conversation Series: What does it mean to be black?Conversation Series: What Does It Mean To Be Black?

Monday, February 1 | 8:30 p.m.
Event Link: TBA

We want to bring people together, despite their opinions (no matter how controversial they may be) to reach a common ground on what it truly means to be black. We will be discussing an array of topics such as the “black card”, black culture, gatekeeping, and more.

Raise Your Voice: FREE Poetry Workshop with Glenis Redmond

Thursday, February 4 | 6:30 p.m.
Event Link

Since 2009, State Theatre of New Jersey Poet-in-Residence Glenis Redmond has brought poetry into the lives of people all over the Garden State—among them students, senior citizens, and members of the general public. Her experiences and the people she has met have inspired a number of her poems, including “Bruised,” featured in her TEDxGreenville Talk and “Dancers,” dedicated to Norma Heflin, a kindred spirit Glenis met at Quail Brook Senior Center in Somerset. “Raise Your Voice” free poetry workshop focuses on social justice; you can learn some of the techniques she uses for writing her well-crafted and deeply personal poems. Through her workshops, she encourages participants to draw upon their own lives and experiences to tell their own stories. This Zoom workshop is open to the general public (must be 18+) and is FREE of charge. No previous writing experience needed. All levels welcome.

PRCC B.L.A.C.K. Mentoring Circle Social

Monday, February 8 | 6:00 p.m.
Event Link

The Black Mentoring Circle program provides a space where students participate in guided educational discourse, leadership development, and out of the classroom engagement through panel conversation. This month’s topic is Black Entrepreneurship and Economical Power. The history of Black business and economics is the history of America. From Tulsa, to Wilmington, to our local communities today, there are vital lessons to be learned for thriving and navigating systemic racism, cultural challenges, and the global marketplace. Join us for a facilitated discussion featuring Rutgers alumni and community partners with experience as business owners and entrepreneurs.

Black Excellence Fest

Monday, February 8 | 8:30 p.m.

Event Link: TBA

This event will be showing gratitude to a different form of Black excellence on Rutgers campus every week; entrepreneurs, musicians/artists, and Black history. Each day we will be highlighting individuals via our @blmru instagram story and live, where they can show off their talents and hard work.

Black History Month 2021Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Interest Meeting

Tuesday, February 9 | 8:00 p.m.
Event Link

The purpose of this event is to educate people about Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as we are the first Black greek organization. This will also provide people with the opportunity to meet the undergraduate brothers of the Delta Iota chapter.

Black History Month 2021Black History Month Jeopardy

Wednesday, February 10 | 8:00 p.m.
Event Link

The goal of this event is to educate people on events and people pertaining to Black History. The winner(s) will receive a gift card prize.

Academia While Black: Conversations Surrounding the Black Experience in Higher Education

Wednesday, February 10 | 7:00 p.m.
Event Link

The event will consist of a panel including students at both the undergraduate and graduate level, along with professors at the collegiate level. Panelists will share their thoughts, insights, and experiences of being black in the American education system.

Black History Month 2021Screening & Discussion: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Thursday, February 11 | 6:00 p.m.
Event Link

Featuring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) depicts the iconic queer blues singer in 1920’s Chicago.

Black History Month 2021Renaissance Man

Thursday, February 11 | 8:00 p.m.
Event Link

The goal of this program is to highlight the legacy of Paul Robeson and his contributions to the Rutgers community. We will also be discussing what it means to be a Renaissance man and its significance.

Access Week Alumni Mixer with Kevin Powell

Monday, February 15 | 5:50 p.m.
Event Link

Rutgers alum Kevin Powell will join us for an engaging discussion on leadership. The event is open to current students and alumni

James Dickson Carr Lecture

Tuesday, February 16 | 4:00 p.m.
Event Link

An annual public lecture named in honor of James Dickson Carr who was the first African American graduate of Rutgers University. Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack, Assistant Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students will discuss pressing issues of diversity, access, and equity in an open dialogue with the Rutgers community.

A Conversation with LaTosha BrownGambaccini Civic Engagement Series: A Conversation with LaTosha Brown

Wednesday, February 17 | 12:30 p.m.
Event Link

As part of Eagleton’s Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series, LaTosha Brown will discuss her story of civic engagement and political empowerment as co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund. LaTosha Brown is an award-winning visionary thought leader, institution builder, cultural activist and artist, and connector. She is a nationally recognized, expert in Black voting rights and voter suppression, Black women’s empowerment, and philanthropy.

Student Success Conference

Wednesday, February 17 | 3:00 p.m.
Event Link

Student attendees will engage in dialogue with alumni professionals and learn best practices for career preparation as they plan for their professional next steps. Students will learn strategies to enhance their virtual professional profile and leverage their skills and experiences for professional networking in the virtual space.

Advocating for Educational Equity

Thursday, February 18 | 6:00 p.m.
Event Link

A panel of policy professionals will highlight the ways that college students can advocate for equitable outcomes within K-12 schools.

Black History Month 2021UBC Town Hall: Black Rutgers Community Forum

Monday, February 22 | 7:00 p.m.
Event Link

This collaborative community discussion will be a platform to touch upon the issues surrounding Black Rutgers regarding academic affairs, financial aid, the resources available in these areas, and how student organizations can better function together. The purpose of the event will be to discuss some of the main concerns that Black students carry.

Malcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global EraMalcolm X at Oxford Union: Racial Politics in a Global Era

Tuesday, February 23 | 12:00 p.m.
Event Link

In 1964, Malcolm X was invited to debate at the Oxford Union Society at Oxford University. The topic of debate that evening was the infamous phrase from Barry Goldwater’s 1964 Republican Convention speech: Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. At a time when Malcolm was traveling widely and advocating on behalf of Blacks in America and other nations, his thirty-minute speech at the Oxford Union stands out as one of the great addresses of the civil rights era.

Black History Month 2021Douglass Dean’s Lecture Series: Critical Conversations on Black History

Wednesday, February 24 | 6:30 p.m.
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Douglass Dean’s Lecture Series: Critical Conversations on Black History will host Dr. Barbara Ransby the John D. MacArthur Chair and a Distinguished Professor in the Departments of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, and History at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Dr. Barbara Ransby is author of two award-winning books: Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision (2003); and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson (2013). She is also author of a third book published in August 2018 entitled: Making All Black Lives Matter: Re-imagining Freedom in the 21st Century.

Black History Month 2021Open Panel featuring BMC Alumni

Wednesday, February 24 | 9:00 p.m.
Event Link

The meeting is going to feature a panel of BMC alumni talking, via Zoom, about their experiences in the professional world as black men following graduation from university. The event is open to all not just BMC members or men, but all gender identities and races.

Rutgers Graduate School of EducationR U Ready for Graduate School? Graduate Study and Careers in Education at Rutgers GSE

Thursday, February 25 | 2:00 p.m.
Event Link

Interested in completing your combined bachelors and masters degrees in 5 years?
Do you want to pursue a career in education–as a teacher, researcher or higher education administrator? Join us for a virtual session!

Black History Month 2021Part I: Affirming Medical and Mental Health Care of LGBTQAI+ Communities

Tuesday, February 26 | 8:30 a.m.
Event Link

The colloquium Affirming Medical and Mental Health Care for LGBTQAI+ Communities on February 25- 26, 2021 brings together experts from medical and mental health, social sciences, and humanities scholars. This event advances and the national discussion on equity health care systems. All health care providers must practice cultural sensitivity, education on the needs based on race and inclusion in order to increase our capacity for providing beloved and holistic health care.

Black History Everyday Wikipedia Edit-a-thon with Black Lunch Table

Sunday, February 28 | 12:00 p.m.
Event Link: TBA

Black Lunch Table invites you to join us for a Wikipedia edit-a-thon! We create spaces to encourage people of color and women to join the Wikimedia movement while also asking other editors to focus on gaps in coverage on Wikimedia. Together we will create historical documents that respond to the urgent need for a reconstruction of the art historical record. All are invited, with no specialized knowledge of the subject or Wikipedia editing experience required. A brief overview of the basics of Wikipedia editing will be given at the start of the edit-a-thon. We will focus on important but underrepresented visual artists, curators, and art workers of the Black Diaspora and will also have Rutgers-related lists of tasks available. All skill levels are welcome!