Celebrating Black History Month
February marks Black History Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions Black Americans have made to this country and to reflect upon the continued struggle for racial justice. Listed below are some upcoming campus and community events, theatrical performances and stories from colleges and schools across the university.
February 6-10—Warfield Week
Join the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies at the inaugural Warfield Week, a series of virtual and in-person events celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. John Lewis Warfield. Visit the Warfield Center website for times and locations.
February 8—New Faculty Lightning Talk Series
Associate Professor of Architecture Charles L. Davis II will give a talk titled “From Settler Colonies to Black Utopias: the Dialectics of American Architecture in Black and White” at a New Faculty Lightning Talk Series hosted on Feb. 8, 11:30 a.m. at the Engineering Education and Research Center (EER, room 2.518).
February 10—Dance Theatre of Harlem
Texas Performing Arts presents a special performance by the Dance Theatre of Harlem on Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m. at the Bass Concert Hall.
February 11—Performance by Vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant
Texas Performing Arts presents a performance by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant on Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. at Bass Concert Hall.
February 14—’Matters of the Heart’ with Demetrius Harmon
The African American Culture Committee presents a speaker event featuring Demetrius Harmon titled “Matters of the Heart” on Feb. 14, 6 p.m. at the Texas Union (UNB Shirley Bird Perry Ballroom). Topics include self-love and mental health; snacks and mocktails will be provided. More information to be posted on the Texas Unions website.
February 15—’Culture Shock: Tournament of Champions’
University Unions is hosting a showcase of Black talent at the upcoming “Culture Shock: Tournament of Champions” on Feb. 15, 6-8:30 p.m. at the William C. Powers Student Activity Center Auditorium (WCP, room 1.402).
February 18—#FreeTheHair: Locking Black Hair to Civil Rights Movements
Wendy Greene, founder of the #FreeTheHair movement and professor of law at Drexel University, will discuss her legal scholarship and public advocacy on Feb. 18, 2:15 p.m. at the Eidman Courtroom. The event his hosted by Texas Law’s Office for Equity and Inclusion. Go here to RSVP.
February 20—Student Luncheon with Norma Cantu
The LBJ School of Public Affairs is hosting a student luncheon with Norma Cantu, former U.S. assistant secretary of education for civil rights. More information to be posted on the LBJ School of Public Affairs website.
February 21—Barbara Jordan National Forum
The LBJ School of Public Affairs is hosting its annual Barbara Jordan National Forum, featuring Eddie Bernice Johnson, former U.S. Congresswoman, as the keynote speaker and recipient of the Barbara Jordan Public Service Award. The event will take place on Feb. 21, at 12:15 p.m. in the LBJ Presidential Library.
February 21—’Engineering While Black’
Attend a “Fireside Chat” with Ecleamus Ricks, Jr. at an event titled “Engineering While Black” on Feb. 21, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Engineering Educaiton and Research Center (EER, Mulva Auditorium). The event is hosted by Texas Engineering Diversity and Engagement in partnership with Texas Engineering Executive Education.
February 22—Wednesday Night Jazz Meeting
University Unions invites you to engage with Austin’s leading jazz musicians in an evening of conversation and music on February 22, 7-9:30 p.m. at the Cactus Cafe (Texas Union).
February 27—Black History Month Cookout
Enjoy good food and entertainment at the big, university-wide Black History Month Cookout hosted by University Housing and Dining. The event is happening on February 27, 11-2 p.m., at San Jacinto Residence Hall (SAC, Multipurpose Room).
February 28—Film Screening: ‘Juneteenth Faith & Freedom’
Radio-Television-Film Professor Ya’Ke Smith will discuss a film titled “Juneteenth: Faith & Freedom” at an event hosted by The LBJ School of Public Affairs’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. The event will take place on February 28, 6-8 p.m. at the LBJ Auditorium. Registration is required.
February 28—Dip Into the Diaspora
Celebrate Black History Month at this festive event featuring various foods to sample. Hosted by Campus Events + Entertainment, this event is happening on February 28, (time TBD), at the Student Activity Center (SAC, Black Box Theater).
Save the Date: March 9-April 14—’For Whites’ Exhibition
The School of Architecture is hosting an exhibition titled “For Whites: Contextualizing Race and Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin.” The exhibit, to be held at Bebane Gallery, will illuminate and investigate the racist signage discovered in Battle Hall during the course of renovations in 2021.
Save the Date: March 3— ‘Best Barbarian’ Faculty Book Talk
The John L. Warfield Center for African & African American Studies is hosting a book talk spotlighting Associate Professor of English Roger Reeve’s new book “Best Barbarian” on March 3, 2-3 p.m. at the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center (WCP, room 2.120).
March 1—Book Talk: ‘Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America’
Emory University Professor Carol Anderson will discuss her new book titled “The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America” at an event hosted by The LBJ School of Public Affairs’ Center for the Study of Race and Democracy. The event is happening on March 1, 6 p.m. at the Bass Lecture Hall. Registration is required.
February 4—Solar Saturday Block Party
Kick off Black History Month at this inaugural “Solar Saturday” Block Party event on Feb. 4, 2-6 p.m. at the The George Washington Carver Museum.
February 23—Black History Month Live Reading
Celebrate Black History Month with a live reading and “Mini Book Buzz” presentation on Feb. 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Pflugerville Public Library.
February 25—Black History Month Kids’ Day!
Bring the family to “Black History Month Kids’ Day,” a community-wide event featuring crafts, storytelling and activities on Feb. 25, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum.
Celebrations & Honors
Step Up to UT’s Front Porch
Last spring, the Center for Community Engagement hosted the grand opening of the John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building, named in honor of the first Black student to graduate from UT’s School of Architecture and the first licensed Black architect in the state of Texas. View some photo highlights from the celebration.
Making Room at the Table
Visit the Texas Leader website to read about Preston Lee’s gift to the LBJ School of Public Affairs to create space for diverse voices. A 1985 graduate of the LBJ School, Lee has won several awards for his longstanding career in public service.
MLK Day Rally & March
On Monday January 16, the university joined Huston-Tillotson University and the Austin community in celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the annual MLK Community March and Rally. View photos from the event.
Black History Month Cookout Recap
View some photo highlights from last year’s Black History Month Cookout hosted by University Housing and Dining and several campus partners, including the DDCE and the Black Faculty and Staff Association.
Carrying the Legacy
Since 1986, The University of Texas at Austin has held the Sweatt Symposium on Civil Rights to honor the impact and legacy of Heman Marion Sweatt, the first Black student admitted to the School of Law at UT after the prolonged court case Sweatt v. Painter. Read about the 2022 symposium, which focused on one of the most important issues of our time: health equity.
Graduating With Honors
Last year, Ada Cecilia Collins was awarded a posthumous degree at the university’s 139th spring commencement ceremony. Visit the DDCE’s news blog to learn more about her civil rights work and achievements.
Art & Culture
The Chase Building Archives
Visit the Black Diaspora Archive to turn back the pages of time to the 1950s, when the historic John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building was first built in East Austin. Go to this UT Libraries site to find photos, videos and oral histories told by longtime members of East Austin’s historically Black community.
UT’s Stories of Integration
Download a free copy of the new audiobook “Overcoming” to learn about UT’s story of integration read by members of the Precursors, staff and alumni. Opening with the watershed Supreme Court case Sweatt vs. Painter, the audiobook covers various challenges and triumphs faced by African Americans—from segregated housing and extracurricular activities to the rise in Black power and protests to the process of increasing Black student enrollment and faculty representation.
‘The Third Reconstruction’
In his new book “The Third Reconstruction: America’s Struggle for Racial Justice in the Twenty-First Century,” (Basic Books, ’22), LBJ School of Public Affairs Professor Peniel Joseph explores the racial reckoning that unfolded in 2020 and argues how it marked the climax of a third reconstruction.
Peace to the Queen
Read a Q&A with Ja’nell Ajani, a doctoral candidate in the Department of American Studies who served as lead curator for the “Peace to the Queen” exhibit at the George Washington Carver Museum. The exhibit, which was on display last fall, featured powerful images of African American women and girls captured by New York City-based photographer Jamel Shabazz.
Destigmatizing Art History
Art History Professor Eddie Chambers addresses the racial gap in art history majors in an article published in Art Journal. Read the full article to learn more about the lack of Black students in this field, and the changes that need to be made to bridge this gap.
An Emancipation Story
Visit the Moody College of Communication website to watch Radio-Television-Film Professor Ya’Ke Smith’s new documentary about Juneteenth, which offers viewers a powerful and nuanced overview of this important holiday that commemorates the official date marking the end of slavery in the United States.
Black TV Through the Years
Read about the history of Black television—from the 1940s to present day— in this Moody College of Communication story featuring Radio-Television-Film Assistant Professor Adrien Sebro. You can also watch him discuss his research in this Moody Mentors video.
The Way of Roger
Visit the College of Liberal Arts’ Life & Letters website to read about the life and work of Roger Reeves, associate professor of English and author of “Best Barbarians,” a book of poems that explores the complexities of humanity, including climate change, love, loss and anti-Black racism.
UT & Austin’s Racial Geography
Race and Architecture at UT
In an essay published on the School of Architecture website, Assistant Professor of Architecture Tara Dudley explores Battle Hall’s racial past and shares how she researches and teaches the difficult and contested histories of UT’s built environment.
Racial Geography Tour of UT Austin
Take a virtual “Racial Geography Tour” for an interactive guided exploration of the historic origins of UT Austin’s buildings, landmarks and spaces. The tour is led by Edmund T. Gordon, vice provost for diversity and founding chairman emeritus of the Department of African & African Diaspora in the College of Liberal Arts
Black Austin Tours
Take a deep dive into Austin’s Black history with tour guide and UT Austin alum Javier Wallace. This one-mile walking tour takes guests to various sites and landmarks in East Austin’s historic neighborhoods. Visit the Black Austin Tours website for ticket information.