Stanford celebrates Black History Month
Events throughout the month center around the Black Community Services Center’s theme “Soul of our Nations: Black Creative Expressions Worldwide” and culminate in a weekend celebrating Black art and artists Feb. 25-26.
This February, Stanford will recognize Black History month with a series of events and programs celebrating and honoring the university’s Black community.
Programming will center around the Black Community Services Center’s Black Liberation Month theme of “Soul of our Nations: Black Creative Expressions Worldwide” and culminate in a weekend celebrating Black art and artists Feb. 25-26.
“During Black History Month, we celebrate and recognize our Black students, faculty, and staff for their remarkable contributions to Stanford and to the university’s scholarship and impact,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. “I’m especially grateful to the students and staff at the Black House, who have organized a series of community events honoring Black art and expression. I encourage our whole community to engage with the lectures, events, and celebrations taking place this month.”
Black House Assistant Dean of Students and Associate Director Dom Johnson said she hopes Stanford faculty, students, and staff take the opportunity to expand their understanding of Black art and the creators behind it.
“Art is more than canvas, dancing, and music,” Johnson said. “There’s an art to the way to tell stories, and in the way we speak to each other, there’s an art in the way that we heal from spaces of trauma or times of trauma.”
She also explained the recent shift toward the BCSC recognizing February as “Black Liberation Month” is an intentional reframing.
“Black Liberation Month is a celebration of a living history still being created and the indication of what we are reaching for out loud,” Johnson said. “Liberation was always the goal, with learning and remembering being centered during this time.”
Working closely with the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, the Black House will host a series of events featuring work across mediums, including music and dance, but also art forms people may not think about, such as culinary arts. Along the way, attendees and the community will be invited to help create a community piece designed by student Sky Walker.
“We are a creative people, and if you expand your understanding of art, you’ll see what it is that the Black Community has to offer the world and has already given the world,” Johnson said. “We’re asking that people broaden their understanding of art and hope they understand Black folx less as a monolith and more as dynamic people doing amazing things.”
Signature events include a Feb. 16 workshop co-sponsored by Mind Over Money called “the Art of the Hustle” which will encourage students to think about budget, time management, and boundary setting. And on Feb. 22-23, Queer Student Resources and the BSCS will host a Messy Movement lab workshop and discussion.
While some programs are limited to students, others will be open to faculty and staff, including a Feb. 21 Paint & Sip night and a Feb. 28 conversation with award-winning HBO writer and author Nnedi Okorafor and 2023 IDA visiting artist Ellen Sebastian Change at the Stanford Humanities Center.
Interested in more? Keep an eye on events throughout the month on the BCSC calendar as well as the Stanford events calendar. 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, or examine systemic racism and discrimination in the U.S. through the lens of Stanford scholars whose research explores how to advance racial justice.