Campus and community events highlight Black History Month

February 6, 2012 By Valeria Davis

Eighty-six years after it was first launched on Feb. 12, 1926 by American historian Carter G. Woodson, special attention will be paid to the role African Americans have played in our nation’s history during the month of February, traditionally known as Black History Month. 

Graphic: Woodson stamp

Woodson’s work and life was honored on this postage stamp.

Across the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus and the Madison community, a number of events will be held to celebrate the meaning and importance of Black History Month. Here is a rundown:

Through Feb. 27, Wisconsin Public Television Historic Film Series

From the music of Cab Calloway to Freedom Riders, Wisconsin Public Television will offer programs this month that mark the contributions of black Americans.  

The schedule includes programs through Monday, Feb. 27.

  • At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, “Freedom Riders: American Experience” tells the stories of civil-rights activists who journeyed through the Deep South in 1961.
  • At 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, “The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975” takes a cinematic and musical trip to American black communities of 1967-75.
  • At 8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, “Slavery by Another Name” explores a form of slavery in the South that persisted into the 20th century.
  • At 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, “More Than a Month” introduces an African-American filmmaker who wants to end Black History Month.
  • At 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, “Memphis” features a live film of the Tony Award-winning Broadway rock musical.
  • At 9 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, “Cab Calloway: Sketches” provides a lively biography of an exceptional figure in the history of jazz.

Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Thursday, Feb. 9: Wisconsin Black Student Union kicks off Black History Month 

Check out all of WBSU’s events for Black History Month on Facebook.

– Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. in the Red Gym: Black Jeopardy. This game will give you insightful knowledge about the diverse Black culture of this country. Come and test your skills. Free food will be provided.

– Thursday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Center for Cultural Enrichment: “Discussing Spike Lee — The Man Behind the Movies.” Enjoy a discussion and a movie about the man who paved the way for African Americans to be much more than actors.

Friday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 21, Sickle Cell Blood Drives

Blood drives set for Friday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 21 will underscore the importance of blood donation as a way to help fight Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). Sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Madison and UW–Madison’s Morgridge Center for Public Service, the drives will encourage donation and bring attention to the problems associated with SCD.

The Feb. 10 drive will be held from 1-6 p.m. at the Urban League’s headquarters at 2222 S. Park St. and the Feb. 21 drive will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Red Gym on campus at 716 Langdon St.

Appointments are preferred and can be arranged by calling 800-REDCROSS or visiting The sponsor code is: Madison sickle cell. 

Monday, Feb. 13 through Friday, Feb. 17, Black History Month Clothing Drive

The Black Law Students Association (BLSA) will be collecting clothes to donate to the Society of St. Vincent’s de Paul. This clothing drive is one activity of many that BLSA is coordinating during Black History Month. BLSA has partnered with St. Vincent’s in various other endeavors, such as providing healthy food to the poor and homeless. Items will be collected daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Law School Atrium.

Wednesdy, Feb. 15, city of Madison celebration featuring professor Sandra Adell

Photo: Sandra Adell


The city of Madison’s Minority Affairs Committee will host its annual Black History Month celebration from at noon to 1 p.m. in the Madison Municipal Building lobby on  Martin Luther King Boulevard.  Sandra Adell, professor of literature, Department of Afro-American Studies at UW–Madison, Ph.D. Comparative Literature will be the keynote speaker, addressing this year’s theme of  “Black Women in American Culture and History.”

Opening music for the celebration will be provided by Pastor Rayford, known nationally and internationally for his unique sound as a gospel jazz saxophonist.  Other speakers will include Madison Mayor Paul Soglin.

Friday, Feb. 24 and Saturday, Feb. 25, Black Men’s Initiative Forum

The Black Male Initiative Forum “Building Capacity: Are You Equipped?”  will open on Friday, Feb. 24 in the Phillips Lounge of Ogg Hall, 835 West Dayton St., from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nationally known author on black male achievement, Shaun Harper, director of the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education at the University of Pennsylvania, will provide the keynote message.

Leadership for this event is provided by the Office of the Vice Provost & Chief Diversity Officer, the Wisconsin Association of Black Men (WABM) and leaders representing the 100 Black Men of Madison. Through the vision of WABM’s leadership in particular, this year’s Forum will continue into a newly expanded second day of seminars on developing personal leadership, accountability, character, and personal integrity on Saturday, Feb. 25, in the AT&T Lounge of the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St. from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

To RSVP, please register at:

For Friday and Saturday

For Friday only.

For Saturday only.

Through Wednesday, Feb. 29, Athletic Department Salute to Black History

During the month of February, the University of Wisconsin athletics program will celebrate Black History Month by highlighting African American student athletes and historic moments in Badger history.  As part of this celebration, current student-athletes have recorded public-service announcements focusing on former UW African-American athletes.

The UW athletic program launched its “Celebrate UW’s Black History” section on in 2003. It has been updated every year with new information and multimedia offerings and is one of the finest college resources for African-American athletics history in the nation.

Visit here to learn more about African American’s history as Badgers.

Tags: diversity, events