Black History Month, which happens every February, honors the contributions of African Americans to the United States and their numerous achievements throughout history.
According to History.com, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.
The following is a list of Black History Month events happening in Merced:
Gospel Concert at Merced College
A gospel concert recognizing Black History Month is scheduled to be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday in the Merced College Theater at 3600 M St.
The event is being sponsored by the campus’ Black Student Union, and will honor Nelson Mandela and Diane Nash. Admission is free to the public. Refreshments served during intermission.
Black History Celebration at Liberty Fellowship
A Black History Month Celebration is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at Liberty Fellowship Church in Atwater (1900 Shaffer Road).
Pastor Gerald E. Harris of Gilroy’s Bethan Baptist Church is the scheduled guest speaker. There will be a performance by the Central Valley Community Choir, directed by Gwen Amey, pastor of Merced’s New Faith Tabernacle Church.
For more information, call (209) 358-5701 or visit www.lfatwater.com.
Black Arts Conference at UC Merced
An international conference on the Black Arts Movement will draw world-renowned scholars, musicians and artists, and offer new scholarship and perspectives on the 1960s and 1970s movement.
The International Conference on the Black Arts Movement and Legacies, scheduled Feb. 28 through March 2 at UC Merced, will provide opportunities to hear and appreciate the elders, activists and artists who proclaimed “black is beautiful” in their art, music, poetry and writings, while also shedding light on recent assessments of the movement, according to a UC Merced news release.
Askia Toure, Ishmael Reed, Marvin X, Eugene Redmond, Umar Bin Hassan, Nathan Hare, Emory Douglas, Judy Juanita, Avotcja and other key writers, musicians and artists from the Black Arts and Black Power movements will discuss their work and perform at the conference, according to a campus press release.
Scholarly panels, poetry, art, theater presentations and workshops on a wide variety of topics from the state of black studies in America to the impact of the Black Arts Movement past and present are on the agenda, according to the release.
The conference is free for UC Merced students and Merced County youths, and $40 for the general public. To register or for schedules or information, visit www.ucmercedbamconference2014.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black History Month Film series at UC Merced
UC Merced’s Office of Student Life’s Social Justice Initiatives is presenting a Black History Month film series for February.
The film “The N-Word: Divided We Stand” is scheduled to show 7 p.m. Tuesday. The film “Exploring Our Roots: African American Lives” is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 18. Both films will be shown in the campus’s Bobcat Lair. UC Merced is at 5200 Lake Road.