Stanford celebrates Black History Month
Events throughout the month of February honor the contributions of Black students, faculty and staff to Stanford’s scholarship and community.
This February, Stanford will recognize Black History Month in honor and celebration of the university’s Black students, faculty, and staff.
Events will include the Beyoncé Mass, a worship service that uses the music and life of Beyoncé as a tool to cultivate an empowering conversation with Black women at its center; a performance by comedian Dwayne Perkins; and a panel discussion with former student-athletes who helped change the face of Stanford Football.
The Stanford Black Community Services Center, known by many as the “Black House,” will host additional events as part of its annual Black Liberation Month programming.
“Throughout Black History Month, we honor the contributions of our Black students, faculty, and staff to Stanford’s scholarship and community,” said President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “Over the years, Stanford’s Black community has led the way in magnifying underrepresented identities and voices on our campus, including by establishing one of the first Black student centers in the country and the first cultural center on campus. I want to thank the Black House for organizing a month of exciting and thought-provoking events and conversations that celebrate the remarkable impact of our Black community.”
This year’s Black Liberation Month theme is #BuyBlack and celebrates Black entrepreneurship.
“Each year, our Black Liberation Month theme is sourced through ideas from our student staff along with being mindful of current trends in the Black community at Stanford and beyond,” said Rosalind Conerly, associate dean of students and Karr Family director. “It’s a moment where the rest of the campus can experience how BCSC unapologetically celebrates the brilliance of our Black community every day. This year we want to celebrate the legacy of Black entrepreneurs at Stanford. We know the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. are Black women and we also know the entrepreneurial spirit is thriving among Black students, staff, faculty, and of course our alumni.”
Established in 1969 as the result of student activism during a panel following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the BCSC focuses on the identity and intellectual development of Black students outside of the classroom. In addition to offering its own programming, the center supports more than 30 Black Volunteer Student Organizations, and its creation led to the formation of other campus community centers, now known collectively as the Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership.
In partnership with Stanford Libraries, BCSC staff have recently begun curating several physical artifacts as part of a Black at Stanford Anthology. The collaborative archive showcases photos, posters, and oral stories documenting the history of Black activism and community at Stanford, from Ernest Houston Johnson, the first Black student to graduate from Stanford in 1895, to the present-day efforts of Black students and faculty.
Black Liberation Month programming, including events such as a Digital Get Down and a weekly Black Gender Marginalized Collective Lunch and Learn, will be added to the BCSC calendar weekly throughout February. All events will be virtual, socially distant or hybrid.
Want to learn more? Explore the history of Black History Month through a Tiny Lecture with Assistant Professor Michael Hines, delve into the Stanford Libraries’ Black at Stanford Anthology, and read about the work of Stanford scholars whose research examines systemic racism and discrimination in the U.S. and how to advance racial justice.