UTSA celebrates Black History Month with a series of events

UTSA will be hosting a variety of events for Black History Month in February. These events are presented by the African American Studies Program, in coalition with the Department of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

The first event, on February 3, is a lecture by guest speaker Dr. Peniel Joseph, Founding Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at the University of Texas at Austin. Going along with the topic of his most recent book, The Sword and the Shield, Joseph will discuss the metaphors of Malcom X as the sword, and Martin Luther King, Jr. as the shield as well as how these men transformed the aesthetics of American democracy. The lecture will be held from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Student Union, Denman Room, 2.01.28.

The next event, on February 10, is a screening of the film Walk on the River: A Black History of the Alamo City. It is a documentary highlighting the history and contributions of African Americans to the city of San Antonio. The movie will show at 1 pm in the Main Building, MB 1.120.

On February 12, the Igo Library will host a book discussion at 5 pm on Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires by Shomari Wills. The book tells the little-known stories of six pioneering African American entrepreneurs. The Igo Library is located at 13330 Kyle Seale Parkway.

On February 13, there will be a panel discussion, Raising an African American Male, at noon in the Multidisciplinary Studies building, MS 2.01.06.

On February 18, another panel discussion, Inclusion of African American Studies in Texas High Schools, will take place in the John Peace Library Assembly Room at 5:30 pm. The discussion will focus on recently passed legislature for African American curriculum in public schools.

On February 25, a screening of the documentary I Am Not Your Negro will be held in the John Peace Library Assembly Room from 4-7 pm. It is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter.

Finally, activist Bree Newsome will speak at 2 pm on Wednesday, February 26 at the Student Union, Denman Room, 2.01.28. Newsome is an award winning artist, musician, producer, writer, and consultant. She drew national attention in 2015 when she climbed the flagpole in front of the South Carolina Capitol building and lowered the Confederate battle flag.

Karla Broadus, senior lecturer and project coordinator of the African American Studies Program, said that these events have been selected for their value in education and current events that enhance students’ textbook, lectures, and social media interactions. “Each event provides an experience for students to increase their knowledge on a topic,” she said. “Students will learn about individuals they have read or heard about both locally and nationally, legislation that will impact the Texas Education System, gain ideas to assist the development of African American males, learn about authors like James Baldwin, and hear a nationally known activist/filmmaker Bree Newsome.”