CUNY Celebrates Black History Month With Concerts, Films, Panels and More

“African Americans in Times of War” is the theme of this year’s Black History Month and The City University of New York is celebrating the annual February commemoration with scores of events and programs at CUNY colleges throughout the five boroughs, from concerts and film screenings to panel discussions and more.

“CUNY is proud to present an incredible array of programming, events and ideas in celebration of Black History Month,” said Chancellor James B. Milliken. “These offerings will serve to illuminate the diversity and richness of African-American life and provide us all with a deeper understanding of New York, our country and the world.”

More than 60 black history-related programs are planned at CUNY colleges this month. Most are open to the public. Here is a sampling of notable events:


Black Public Relations Pioneers (PR) and the new PR pioneers
Feb. 15, 6-8:30 p.m., NVC 14-270
Professor Donald Singletary will discuss black PR pioneers and the new PR pioneers.

Lest We Forget Slavery Museum: Traveling Exhibit
Feb. 21, 6-9 p.m., NVC 1-107
An exhibit that unveils the impact African-American slaves made in the building of America

Still I Rise: Breaking Barriers in 2018
Feb. 22, 6-9 p.m., NVC 2-125
Baruch alumni and other community members discuss what it means to be black in America and how to break barriers in 2018.

Anyone interested in attending the Baruch events should email


John Hope Franklin Day
Feb. 28, 3:40-4:55 p.m., Woody Tanger Auditorium (panel).
Sponsored by the Ethyle R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities, this daylong event commemorates the life and legacy of John Hope Franklin, civil rights leader and former Brooklyn College chair. The program includes “African American History in the Public Sphere,” a keynote panel with Franklin son John W. Franklin, National Museum of African American History and Culture; David Blight, Yale University; and moderated by historian Kimberley Phillips-Boehm. The day includes an art exhibit, discussions and, at 5 p.m., a Freedom Concert (location TBA) featuring student compositions based on Franklin’s life and work.


African Voices! #DACA
Feb. 13, 6-8:30 p.m., Shepard Hall, Room 250
Moderated by Akinsulure-Smith, this event will focus on Black Lives Matter and issues affecting immigrant populations from the perspective of local advocates and activists.

Black (w)omen: Seen it before
Feb. 7, 6-8 p.m., Cohen Library Archives, opening and reception.
Feb. 26, 6-8 p.m., Artist Talk

The Black Studies Program presents the opening reception for an exhibit featuring the works of emerging and established black self-identified, womyn, visual & performance artist Rafia, and documentary photographer Korren Martin. Artist Talk Feb. 26 with Rafia and Korren.


Shanice Green Concert
Feb. 2, 8 p.m., Center for the Arts (Building 1P).
Tickets $20
Financial Discussion: “How Far Have We Come?”
Feb. 27, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Williamson Theatre
How far have communities of color come in financial power? reported in 2017 that most Americans do not have $500 in savings in case of emergency. Many people of color are in questionable financial health even though this community has more earning power than in years past. This discussion will explore the what and why, and how to do better.

Quiz Competition: “Let’s Explore Africa”
Mar. 12, 1-4 p.m., Center for the Arts (Building 1P) Recital Hall
This New York State Championship is open to 4th through 7th graders (1 p.m.) and 8th through 12th graders (2:30 p.m.). Contestants can win a chance to take part in the National Championship in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, Apr. 14. Register at
For more on the CSI events contact Sloane Von Wertz:


Black History Month Convocation 2018
Feb. 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Lang Recital Hall
With guest speaker Dr. Jelani Cobb, the event is sponsored by Hunter College Dept. of Africana & Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, the Black History Month Committee, the Hunter College Provost Office, and the Hunter College Black Male Initiative.


The 28th Annual Malcolm/King Scholarship Breakfast
Feb. 23, 9 a.m., Fourth Floor Gymnasium, Haaren Hall.
General Admission: $45.00; Tables: $400.00
Launched by African-American faculty and administrators in 1990, the event celebrates African-American history, heritage and community in support of student scholarships. This year’s honorees: Angeline Butler, adjunct professor, Department of Africana Studies, actress, recording artist, songwriter, playwright, and poet; Zelma W. Henriques, professor, Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration. Keynote: Phillip Atiba Goff, Franklin A. Thomas Professor in Policing Equity, John Jay, and President of Center for Policing Equity
Advance ticket purchase is encouraged. For purchase or questions contact:
Rulisa Galloway-Perry

New York Slavery Records Index

John Jay has announced the first New York Slavery Records Index, a publicly searchable compilation of records that identify individual enslaved persons and their owners, beginning as early as 1525 and ending during the Civil War. The 35,000-record index, searchable at, will help to deepen the understanding of slavery in the State of New York. The database, including census records, slave trade transactions, legal documents and more, was developed and is administered by John Jay professors Ned Benton and Judy-Lynne Peters, along with a team of graduate students.


Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture
Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Lovinger Theatre
“Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” a talk by keynote speaker Keith L.T. Wright, former New York State assemblyman and chair of the New York County Democratic Committee.

Resistance Beyond Walls and Borders
Feb. 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Lovinger Theatre
Beyond Walls and Borders is a daylong program examining the issue of mass incarceration, political prisoners and repression. It will include a morning and afternoon film viewing and panel discussion with Lehman faculty, activists from the 1960s, and others impacted by mass incarceration. It is free and open to the public and faculty are invited to bring their classes.
For more details:


Black History Month Opening Event: Trailblazer Award to L. Joy Williams, Brooklyn NAACP
Feb. 5, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Edison O. Jackson Auditorium, 1638 Bedford Ave.
L. Joy Williams, president of the NAACP’s Brooklyn Chapter, will be honored with the college’s Trailblazer Award and hold a conversation with four MEC students. Q&A with audience follows.

Frank Ragland Memorial Lecture: From the Congo
To Harvard University – STEM and the African Diaspora
Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Edison O. Jackson Auditorium
A lecture by Jonathan Mboyo Esole, a Congolese mathematician working on the geometry of string theory. He has solved severalimportant problems in mathematical physics, and his work is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF).

A Celebration of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Bicentennial
Feb. 26, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Edison O. Jackson Auditorium
In honor of the bicentennial birthday of Frederick Douglass, the Center for Black Literature, in conjunction with AKILA WORKSONGS, presents a talk with Lloyd Weaver, the great-great grandson of Douglass. The event also features award-winning author and journalist Herb Boyd, who will provide a framework for the importance of the Douglass legacy in the age of Trump. Moderated by Dr. Brenda M. Greene, executive director of the Center for Black Literature.


Dr. Jessica Harris – My Soul Looks Back: Reflections on My 50-Year Career at Queens College
Feb. 6, 3-4 p.m., Student Union, fourth-floor ballroom
Presentation by culinary historian, cookbook author, journalist and Queens College faculty member Jessica Harris.

Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg
Feb. 20, 12:15-1:30 p.m., Benjamin Rosenthal Library, President’s Conference Room 2
Author Vanessa K. Valdés will make a presentation based upon her book, Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, about the black, Puerto Rican-born scholar, collector, and archivist whose personal library was the basis of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

Reflections – In the Footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Feb. 26, 12:15 – 2 p.m., Student Union, fourth-floor Ballroom West
Student participants in the annual Queens College project, “In the Footsteps of Dr. King,” will make presentations that recall their January 2017 journey to Atlanta, and to Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham, Ala., to meet with leaders of the early civil rights struggle. Led by Queens College professor and former civil rights activist Rabbi Moshe Shur, the students visited museums, memorials and historic sites; participated in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Atlanta; and retraced Dr. King’s walk across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma.


Stories Come to Life – Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters
Feb. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Main Stage, Tickets $7 Students, $10 General Admission
Perfect for introducing variants to the Cinderella story as well as the history, culture and geography of the African nation of Zimbabwe.Presented by ACT Studios

“Hidden Figures”
Feb. 26, 6- 9 p.m., Room TBA
Viewing of the film followed by a discussion.

African-American History and Wikipedia
Feb. 20-22 (Times to be announced) Room 4EA1
“Wikipedia: What is Black? What is Missing? And What We Can Do About It!” We will hold training for Wikipedia and then begin editing or creating Wikis about Black folks.


African Heritage Month Opening Ceremony
Feb. 7, 1:30 – 4 p.m., Student Cafeteria
The BMCC African Heritage Month Committee is proud to invite everyone to attend the African Heritage Opening Ceremony Celebration. The theme of this year’s ceremony is “Love is the Message.” The ceremony will feature African drumming, a steel drum band, a youth choir, spoken words, African art, and a special dance performance by the BMCC Dance Club. A sampling of African and Caribbean dishes will be served.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Relived – Performance by actor David Mills
Feb. 13, 2-3:30 p.m. in RHT
Discover a new perspective on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as esteemed actor and poet David Mills re-enacts the speeches and candid discussions of the historic civil rights leader. David Mills is a writer and actor who has worked professionally in the dramatic and literary communities for more than a decade. For three years, he lived in Langston Hughes’ landmark home where he was inspired to create a one-person dramatic rendition of Hughes’ poems and short stories. He has two collections of poetry: The Dream Detective, a small-press bestseller, and The Sudden Country, a finalist for the Main Street Rag Prize. His work has appeared in “Ploughshares,” “Fence,” “Jubilat,” “Callaloo,” and elsewhere. Mills was commissioned to write a play for Juilliard; the narration for Deborah Willis’ exhibition, “Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers”; and for I Giullari Di Piazza’s folkdance piece, “Tarantella.”

Black Entrepreneur Panel
Feb. 21, 2-4 p.m. S-737
Join us for a panel discussion featuring entrepreneurs of color as they discuss their journeys, challenges and triumphs in the world of business. The panel features: Greg Cally, CEO, Redhouse Visuals, producer of After Hours Mini-series on Tidal; Kimathi Card, owner, KimathiCare, massage therapy and holistic healing, Qigong martials arts master; Akim Jones, vice president, Small Business Banker, Bank of America; Jeffrey Morneau, celebrity chef, executive chef of Chef Jeff Catering and founder of Chef Jeff Events.

Fifth Annual Amadou Diallo Youth Commemoration – Super Heroes, Sci-Tech, and Funky Beats: Learning in the Age of the Cool Geek
Feb. 3, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Nichols Hall [NI], Room 104

“The African Diaspora of the Americas Exposition”
Feb. 13, Noon-3 p.m., Meister Hall Lobby
A visual display on ways Africa has impacted the history, cultural and political roots throughout the Americas. Guests are invited to submit their own visual boards.
For more information, contact:
Gene Adams, director of Collaborative Education

BCC Concerts – Marvin Horne Jazz Quartet
Feb. 15, Noon-3 p.m., Roscoe C. Brown Playhouse.
Concert is free and open to the public.


Guttman Family Feud
Feb. 2
A Kahoot trivia night focused on all things rooted in Black/African American culture. Sponsored by United Men of Color

Black Wall Street: For Us By Us
Feb. 8, Atrium
Black-owned businesses will be featured, as well as their products, in the Atrium. Students will be able to meet the vendors and learn about how they each started toward entrepreneurship.

Michael Blake Speaks
Feb. 9
Assemblyman Michael Blake will be at Guttman for a lunchtime dialogue and keynote around our BHM Theme: “Reflecting on our Legacy … Forging our Future.” Followed by reception in the Atrium Sponsored by BHM.


“Emancipated: My Family’s Fight For Freedom
Feb. 8, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Savoy Multi-Purpose Room
NY1 News Anchor Cheryl Wills talks about her new children’s book.


“Hidden Figures”

Feb. 21, 2018, from 2pm-4:40pm, RoomE-242.
The Women’s Center is sponsoring a screening and discussion of the movie.


Black Inventions Exhibit
Feb. 13, Student Union Lounge
The QCC Student Government hosts the Black Inventions Exhibit, a multimedia presentation that pays tribute to black inventors and innovators. The exhibit reveals many surprising facts, and highlights the accomplishments of blacks in the fields of science, aerospace communication, health care, agriculture, transportation and engineering. The aim of the exhibit is not only to give credit to the inventors, but also to inspire others to believe that anything is possible. Over 150 authentic artifacts are represented, including patent designs, personal letters, rare photographs, brief biographies of black American inventors and video documentaries.


Lest We Forget Slavery Museum Traveling Exhibition and Lecture
Feb. 5, 5 p.m., Dave Fields Auditorium
This event organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) will feature an artifact exhibit and a lecture focusing on systematic oppression caused by slavery.
See more:

Lest We Forget Slavery Museum Traveling Exhibition and Lecture

Liberation is a Collective Struggle
Feb. 15, 5-8 p.m., Location to be announced
In honor of Black History/Futures Month, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) will have a solidarity event where a Black Lives Matter banner will be created for student groups to use.
See more:

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in 1847, CUNY counts 13 Nobel Prize and 23 MacArthur (“Genius”) grant winners among its alumni. CUNY students, alumni and faculty have garnered scores of other prestigious honors over the years in recognition of historic contributions to the advancement of the sciences, business, the arts and myriad other fields. The University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, CUNY Graduate Center, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY School of Law, CUNY School of Professional Studies and CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. The University serves more than 272,000 degree-seeking students. CUNY offers online baccalaureate and master’s degrees through the School of Professional Studies.