Black History Month 2022

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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.

Black History Month Facts

1st – Langston Hughes’ & Rick James’ Birthday

2nd – 1897, Alfred L. Cralle received a patent for his invention, the ice cream scooper.

3rd – On this day in 1964, 464,000 Black and Puerto Rican students boycotted New York City public schools.

4th – Rosa Parks Birthday

5th – On this day in1962, A suit seeking to bar Englewood, N.J., from maintaining “racial segregated” elementary schools filed in U.S. District Court.

6th – Bob Marley’s Birthday

7th – Chris Rock’s Birthday

8th – On this day in 1968, the Orangeburg Massacre occurred. Officers killed three unarmed students during demonstration on the campus of South Carolina State. Students were protesting segregation at an Orangeburg bowling alley

9th – Alice Walker’s Birthday

10th – On this day in 1992, renowned author, biographer, and scriptwriter, Alex Haley, dies. He is known for his books, ‘The Autobiography of Malcolm X’ and ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family.’

11th – On this day in 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, is released from prison after 27 years.

12th – On this day in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded.

13th – On this day in 1965, Malcolm X’s home in New York City was bombed. He and his family were not hurt, and he decided to keep his commitment to give a speech at Ford Auditorium, which was his last speech outside of New York.

14th – Possible birthday of Frederick Douglass; born into slavery, Douglass never saw any authentic record of his birth date or age.​

15th – On this day in 1804, New Jersey passed a law providing for the “gradual emancipation of slaves.” New Jersey became the last Northern state to outlaw slavery.

16th – On this day in 1951, the New York City Council passed a bill prohibiting discrimination in city-assisted housing developments.

17th – Huey P. Newton’s Birthday

18th – Toni Morrison’s & Audre Lorde’s Birthday

19th – Smokey Robinson’s Birthday

20th – Sidney Poitier’s Birthday

21st – On this day in 1965, our beloved brother, Malcolm X was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom.

22nd – On this day in 1989, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince win the first rap Grammy for the hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

23rd – W.E.B. Du Bois’ Birthday

24th – On this day in 1864, Rebecca Lee Crumpler becomes the first Black woman to receive an M.D. degree.

25th – On this day in 1837, the nation’s first Historically Black College and University (HBCU), Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, was founded.

26th – On this day in 1869, Congress passed and sent to the states for ratification, the 15th amendment guaranteeing the right to vote for African American males.

27th – On this day in 1964, author, educator, and champion for the rights of Black women, Anna Julia Cooper dies at the age of 105.

28th – On this day in 1984, Michael Jackson wins 8 Grammy Awards at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards.

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Calendar of Events


Virtual Talk: “Once We Were Slaves: The Extraordinary Journey of a Multiracial Jewish Family”

Tuesday, February 1 | 7:30 p.m.
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Sponsor: The Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life

Award-winning historian Laura Arnold Leibman discusses her new book, sharing the story of an early American family of mixed Jewish and African descent—a story that mirrors as much as ten percent of the Jewish communities of the time. Her research sheds important new light on the diversity of early American Jewish communities, the fluidity of race, and the complex dynamics of race and religion in the first half of the nineteenth century.



Black History Month Virtual Kickoff

Tuesday, February 1 | 8:00 p.m.
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Sponsors: Rutgers-Newark Black Organization of Students, Rutgers-New Brunswick Black Student Union, and Rutgers-Camden Black Student Union

Supported by: Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance

The program will highlight a variety of talents from across the Rutgers community as well as entrepreneurship. Rutgers alumni Dr. Jeffrey Robinson (recently appointed Prudential Chair in Business at the Rutgers Business School), will be the featured keynote speaker.

An Elegant Evening of Jazz: Featuring Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Osayande Baruti

Wednesday, February 2 | 7:00 p.m.
Event Link

Sponsor: West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Co-Sponsor: Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival

Join us for this amazing Fundraiser Event “An Elegant Evening of Jazz” Featuring Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Osayande Baruti. The audience will be a part of this interactive evening performance. If you are unable to watch the event on February 2, your link will allow you to view it on Youtube 30 days after the event. This presentation is made possible through the support of the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Grant and is co-sponsored by Outsiders Improvised & Creative Music Festival.

MLK Celebration

Sunday, February 6 | 2:00 p.m.

Event Location: Nicholas Music Center
Event Link

Sponsor: Mason Gross School of the Arts

Mason Gross students and faculty reflect on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. legacy through art in a presentation that will feature film, dance, music, theater, and visual art. Rutgers President Holloway and Chancellor-Provost Conway will deliver remarks at the celebration. The free event includes a documentary about Paul Robeson RC 1919, a performance by the award-winning Scarlet Knights Jazz Trombones, choreography and accompanying dance film by EdM student Cassidy Rivas, and much more.

Black Leadership Matters: New Conversations at the Top

Tuesday, February 8 | 12:00 p.m.
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Co-Sponsors: Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance and the Rutgers University Alumni Association

Join Randal D. Pinkett ENG’94 and Jeffrey A. Robinson ENG’95, coauthors of the new book Black Faces in High Places, as they discuss strategies and tactics for Black professionals moving up through their organizations and how to land and retain leadership roles. Pinkett and Robinson will share insights and stories from President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Geoffrey Canada, and others.


  • Randal D. Pinkett ENG’94, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners
  • Jeffrey A. Robinson ENG’95, Prudential Chair in Business, Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick, and academic director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
  • Moderated by Anna Branch, senior vice president, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Rutgers University

6th Annual MLK Oratorical Competition

Wednesday, February 9 | 7:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: Paul Robeson Cultural Center

This annual competition honors the oratorical legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by inviting student speakers to expand on a selected Dr. King quote to share their social justice vision of the future. Prizes are awarded for 1st – 3rd place. All Rutgers students, faculty, and staff can view all of the speeches and vote for their favorite speech on February 9th on Instagram @prccrutgers.

Come For A Vibe, Leave With A Vision: A Vision Board Party for Your Success

Tuesday, February 15 | 7:00 p.m.
Event Location: Paul Robeson Cultural Center

Sponsor: Paul Robeson Cultural Center

Are you still figuring out how to accomplish your “new year, new me” goals? Well, this is the perfect program for any student looking to set goals for themselves, envision their success, create an action plan, and meet new friends while vibing to hip hop and r&b! Join the Paul Robeson Cultural Center as we envision the life we want for ourselves individually and collectively for Black people.

Access Week: I Am College Bound

Monday, February 21 | 9:00 a.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

The IamCollegebound: College Fair & Youth Summit, hosted for Upward Bound/Upward Bound Math-Science high-school participants and friends, provides dynamic workshops, speakers, and trainings led by Rutgers undergraduates to aid in preparing students for college. The 2021 summit will include a college fair inclusive of 10 institutions, interactive workshops led by community partners and Rutgers student organizations, and a keynote lecture from Rockell Bartoli.


An Evening with Michael Twitty

Monday, February 21 | 7:30 p.m.
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Sponsor: Center for Social Justice Education & LGBT Communities

Michael Twitty is an award-winning culinary historian and food writer. As a Black and Jewish gay man, his work speaks to the intersections of identity and the relationships between food, culture, and social justice. His book The Cooking Gene won the 2018 James Beard Award for Book of the Year. He has recently been featured on Netflix shows such as High on the HogHow African American Cuisine Transformed America and Waffles and Mochi, hosted by Michele Obama. Michael Twitty’s newest book, Koshersoul, will be released in 2022.

Presented in partnership with: The Multicultural Center at the Ohio State University; The New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health (IFNH); Rutgers Hillel; The Division of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement (DICE) – IDEA Innovation Grant; The New Brunswick Theological Seminary; Allen and Joan Bildner Center for the Study of Jewish Life; Paul Robeson Cultural Center; The Department of Jewish Studies, and the Rutgers University – Newark Intercultural Resource Center (IRC).

Black Jeopardy

Monday, February 21 | 8:00 p.m.
Event Location: Livingston Student Center room 201B

Sponsor: Rutgers Scarlet NAACP

We will be testing contestants on how well they know their Black History facts and culture. This event is supposed to be fun and educational.

Access Week: Student Success Conference Part 1

Tuesday, February 22 | 2:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“A Dollar and A Dream”: Increase student understanding of key terms and concepts in financial literacy, explore connections between emotions & money, help students understand their own relationship with money, provide students with strategies to access financial resources, create wealth, and manage money & emotions

Access Week: Critical Mentoring

Tuesday, February 22 | 6:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Dr. Tori Weiston-Serdan will offer a critical framework to engage in culturally sustaining mentoring practices for those working with youth. The program will feature how to uplift marginalized and minoritized students and center their voices to make them collaborative partners in their mentoring relationships.

Access Week: McNair Research Symposium

Wednesday, February 23 | 4:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Showcasing the research of undergraduate research students from the McNair Scholars Program and LSAMP.

Access Week: James Carr Lecture

Wednesday, February 23 | 4:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

An annual public lecture named in honor of James Dickson Carr who was the first African American graduate of Rutgers University. Public intellectuals invited to campus to discuss pressing issues of diversity, access, and equity in an open dialogue with the Rutgers community. The theme is “Enacting Beloved Community”. Talk Title: “Building the Anti-Racist University: Why Equity and Inclusion Can’t Stop at the Campus Gates”

Access Week: Equity Mindset

Thursday, February 24 | 11:00 a.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Featuring Micere Keels – Attendees will learn best practices and student success strategies as well as provide insight to facilitate retention and increase timely degree completion.

The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Distinguished Lecture Series

Thursday, February 24 | 3:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Leadership, Equity, and Justice and the Rutgers Center for Minority Serving Institutions

The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Distinguished Lecture Series includes lectures from prominent leaders in higher education.

From Moments to Movements to Revolutionary Thinking and Action: Our Long Struggle to Dismantle Racism in Society and Life

Christopher M. Span, Chief of Staff and Associate Chancellor for Administration and PreK-12 Initiatives, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Access Week: Faculty Research Highlights

Friday, February 25 | 11:00 a.m.

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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Faculty research presentations sharing their practices/ techniques related to equity in their classrooms, research and general practice; moderated panel; Q&A

Access Week: Student Success Conference Part 2

Friday, February 25 | 1:00 p.m.
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Sponsor: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

“For the love of money”: Increase student understanding of key terms and concepts in financial literacy, explore connections between emotions & money, help students understand their own relationship with money, provide students with strategies to access financial resources, create wealth, and manage money & emotions

Black History Month: Celebrating Different Identities

Friday, February 25 | 6:00 p.m.

Event Location: Honors College Druskin Lounge on College Avenue Campus

Sponsor: Honors College Changemaking Mentors

Co-Sponsor: HC Black Affinity Group

Join the Honors College for a Black History Month: Celebrating Different Identities event on Friday, February 25th at 6 – 8 PM in the Honors College Druskin Lounge! We’ll celebrate famous Black historical figures using Kahoot and explore the representation of the Black community in spaces such as the arts, social media, and activism. Our panel of students and professors will also share their experiences on topics including intersectionality and being Black at Rutgers. Free food will be served!

RU Ready for Graduate School

Monday, February 28 | 11:00 a.m.
Event Link

Sponsor: Rutgers Graduate School of Education

Africana Studies Department Panel

Monday, February 28 | 08:00 p.m.

Sponsor: Rutgers Scarlet NAACP

Having a panel with professors from our Africana Studies Department to help identity the goals of the black student body as well as learn more about black history and the diaspora.