Each February, the country highlights the accomplishments and contributions of African, African American and Pan-African people and cultures. Through numerous collaborations with various organizations and businesses in the Coastal Bend, events throughout the month honor the achievements and advancements of Black Americans who have inspired others and paved the way for many successes.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) celebrates Black History Month each year with enriching conversations, presentations and showcases — most of which are open to the public. The goal in offering a wide range of events throughout the month is to “provide varied perspectives and contributions of Black Americans to the Island University, the Coastal Bend and beyond,” according to the official TAMU-CC Black History Month schedule’s description.
To kick things off, the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEIB) at TAMU-CC welcomes the community to celebrate Black History Month on Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a keynote speaker, food, entertainment and local vendors in the University Center Anchor Ballroom.
TAMU-CC’s month-long pro-gramming of events includes showings of the movie Black Panther (Feb. 3) and its sequel Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Feb. 7), as well as an in-depth panel discussion focused on the impact colorism has on identity development and mental health on Feb. 9. Panelists will share information and personal experiences related to the modern and historical issues of discrimination based on the color of one’s skin.
The DEIB will also host African Soul International (ASI) on Feb. 13 inside the Performing Arts Center. Established in 1998 by Dr. Jewel Jackson, ASI is centered in the cultural significance of movements, rhythms and traditions. Each dance is an authentic experience of song, unique musical cadence and cultural significance.
An enchanting performance by Michelle Mayne-Graves’ Lifeline Quartet will take place Feb. 17 in the Performing Arts Center. The performance will include spirituals from the Civil War era, commemorating code songs written as guides for the Underground Railroad; music with messaging that helped enslaved individuals find their way to freedom. The concert is sure to be a moving, powerful experience for all who attend.
To wrap up the month, the Islander Cultural Alliance, whose mission is to foster cultural exchange and an understanding of diversity to prepare students to be responsible, inclusive and culturally competent citizens, hosts the 2023 Spirit of MLK Exemplary Awards Feb. 28 to honor students, faculty, staff and community members who have demonstrated the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
These events are an excellent opportunity to learn more about the histories, perspectives and contributions of Black Americans, support Black artists and celebrate Black History Month in the Coastal Bend.