Black History Month Events at Wells

February 9, 2015
A variety of community events pay tribute to the accomplishments and legacies of artists, activists, educators, and more.
black history month title graphic

From Assistant Professor of Spanish Gerardo Cummings: 

Black History Month—also known as African-American History Month—begun in 1926 as “Negro History Week,” but it slowly expanded into a full month of events and celebrations, and in 1976 it was officially recognized by the U.S. federal government. Wells College has, over the years, offered students, staff, faculty and the neighboring community an opportunity to celebrate and engage in a healthy discussion about Black History Month.  This month, Wells College continues this tradition with a number of events organized by the Black History Month Planning Committee.

The celebrations started on Saturday January 31 with a dance hosted by Umoja.They continue with the Black History Month Film Series, a weekly film screening and discussion taking place in Stratton 209 at 7:30 p.m. (except where noted) and featuring the films Dear White People on February 4 (hosted by Umoja and Student Activities); No! The Rape Documentary on February 11 (hosted by the WRC); Cracking the Code (Part of the Spring Social Justice Events Series sponsored by the Provost’s office and co-sponsored by the Spanish Program and the Spanish Club); and Bamboozled on February 25 (hosted by POWER – this movie will begin at 8:30 p.m.).

Other important events being offered to the Wells College community are:

  • Friday, February 13: the My Black is Beautiful Gala will be held in Zabriskie from 7 to 9 p.m. The gala is designed to recognize the power of African-American women through poetry and music. 
  • Tuesday, February 17: a March and Die In will take place at 12:30 p.m. in the lobby of Macmillan Hall.
  • Saturday, February 21: Student Activities will sponsor a trip to the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, N.Y. Students can sign up in the Student Activities office in Main Building.
  • Wednesday, February 25: the Black History Month Planning Committee will co-sponsor the Dean of Student’s Fireside Chat in The Grind Café at 7 p.m. This will be an opportunity for students to engage with each other on issues of race, diversity, and related issues.
  • Friday February 27, Prodigy will host a Harlem Renaissance Program in Phipps Auditorium from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Prodigy is Wells College’s dance troupe that uses stepping to empower students and convey positive messages of unity across the races. 


Moreover, informative posters about famous African Americans have been posted in various buildings on campus including Zabriskie Hall, the Schwartz Athletic Center, Cleveland Hall, Stratton Hall, and Macmillan Hall. Besides the posters, display cases in the Long Library and Cleveland Hall are filled with representative objects and artifacts about Afro-Hispanic and African-American culture, respectively. Each book, toy, music CD, etc. tells a story about a particular plight of people of color.

Following this theme, every Monday in Cleveland Hall there will be a documentary playing for 12 hours throughout the day: on February 2nd is the life of the first African American baseball player in the major leagues Jackie Robinson; on February 9 on Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court; on February 16, on Shirley Chisholm, the first woman to ever run for President of the United States; and on February 23, minister, activist, humanitarian, and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Black History Month Planning Committee is Assistant Director of Student Activities & Leadership Hailey Uribe, Assistant Professor of Spanish Gerardo T. Cummings, and students Jamyra Young '15, David Glidden '16, Phylicia Green '15, Valerie Schweitgert '16, Daleysha Lockhart '16, Tierney Strandberg '15 and Katherine Mouradian '17.

All special events, films, discussions, etc. are date-specific, or will run—in the case of the exhibits and display cases—from February 1 to March 1.


For more information, please contact please contact Assistant Director of Student Activities Hailey Uribe, 315-364-3463, or or Assistant Professor of Spanish Gerardo T. Cummings, 315-364-3306,




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