Black History Month Celebration Highlights

Norfolk State University students in various classes in the new Nursing and Classroom building on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. (Photo/SEMWorks)

Norfolk State kicks off its annual Black History Month celebration with a major new art exhibit, nationally renown speakers, lecturers, musical and dramatic performances and more throughout the month of February and March.

The national Black History Month theme for 2017 is the Crisis in Black Education, which focuses on the crucial role of education in the history of African Americans. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History’s founder, Carter G. Woodson, once wrote that, “if you teach the Negro that he has accomplished as much good as any other race, he will aspire to equality and justice without regard to race.” Woodson understood the implications associated with the denial of access to knowledge and he called attention to the crisis. The crisis in black education first began in the days of slavery when it was unlawful for slaves to learn to read and write. In pre-Civil War northern cities, free blacks were forced as children to walk long distances past white schools on their way to the one school relegated solely to them. Whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America from the late nineteenth century well into our own time.*

Here are some highlights of Norfolk State’s 2017 Black History Month activities:MLK March 2016 1

In Tune With Life. Featuring artworks by Stephanie Kiah and Ernest Lowery. January 25–March 3. James Wise Gallery. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Bright Side of Tough Lives photography exhibit. By Laura Fitzpatrick. February 6–24. Virginia Beach Higher Ed Center. 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

NASA Human Computer with Dr. Christine Darden. Hidden Figures personality. February 2. Brown bag luncheon discussion. Student Center, Room 138B. 12:30 p.m.

L.E.A.D. Series kick-off event. Guest speaker Dr. Umar Johnson — The State of Education in Black America. February 6. Wilder Center. 6 p.m.

BLACK LIVES MATTER Under a Trump Presidency. Panel discussion. February 7. Student Center, Room 138A. 12:30 p.m.

Medicine and the Exploitation of Black Bodies. Film presentation and discussion featuring film producer, Shawn Utsey, “Until the Wells Run Dry. February 8. Student Center, Room 149. 5 p.m.

Crisis in Black Education and the Judicial System. Featuring Judge Jerrauld Jones. February 9. Student Center, Room 138A. 12:30 p.m.

The Psychological Impact of Power in the 2016 Presidential Elections. Presented by the Psychology Department. February 13. Student Center, Room 138A. 5 p.m.

Mass Incarceration and Policing in America: Panel discussion. February 15. Student Center, Room 138A. 6 p.m.

For the complete list of Black History Month activities and events, visit

*2017 Black History Month national theme and background excerpt from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History website.



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