Rice hosts bevy of events to honor Black History Month

From hidden figures and soulful dinners to explorations of African reality, February will be filled with festivities

The very first celebration of Black History Month took place on a college campus – Kent State, in 1970. From that point forward, institutions of higher education led the country in recognizing the annual celebration, and Rice is no exception.

Black History Month 2019

Click to enlarge.

This year, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) is hosting a huge lineup of events throughout February and partnering with clubs and departments across the university to offer something for everyone. There’s even an off-campus excursion to the African American Library at the Gregory School on Feb. 16 at 2 p.m., where Rice Associate Professor of History Alex Byrd ’90 will discuss what he learned at Yates High School in Houston and during his time as an undergraduate at Rice.

“This year we were intentional about unifying efforts with those who were also recognizing Black History Month,” said William Edmond, OMA assistant director. “It’s been a privilege working across campus to help make this Black History Month calendar possible. The finished product is one that allows students to discover more about themselves socially by connecting with their peers and alumni, intellectually via discussions with from administrators and faculty and holistically by unpacking the rich history of African-Americans.”

Highlights of the month ahead include a soul food dinner Feb. 5 at Farnsworth Pavilion sponsored by the Association of Rice University Black Alumni and the Black Student Association. Former and current students will be able to mingle over a fabulous meal starting at 5:30 p.m. On Feb. 15 at noon, the Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a discussion titled “Western Misconceptions of African Reality” in the Multicultural Center.

On Feb. 21, bring your blankets to the Central Quad for “Hidden Figures” as the Rice Student Center continues its popular Owls After Dark programming with a screening of the movie on the lawn at 8:30 p.m. The following night, Duncan College will host a Black History Trivia Night in the Duncan commons at 7:30 p.m.

Step Afrika! will wrap up the month with a performance Feb. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Rice Memorial Center’s Grand Hall. The dance group is bringing the American folkloric tradition of stepping and associated African and African-American percussive dance to Rice as part of its annual Black History Month tour. As with all events listed above, it is free and open to the public.

For a full lineup of Black History Month events at Rice, visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Facebook page or oma.rice.edu/events.

About Katharine Shilcutt

Katharine Shilcutt is a media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.