Black History Month

Black History Month sponsors: The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum, Intercultural Affairs, Academic Affairs, Division of Student Affairs, College of Arts and Media, College of Education and Professional Development, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, School of Medicine, Center for African American Students, Black United Students, Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, John Deaver Drinko Academy, as well as Dow Jones News Fund, Friends of Marshall Libraries and State of West Virginia Office of the Governor (Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs).


Thursday, Jan. 31

Black History Month Kick-Off Event | 4 p.m.| Memorial Student Center BE-5

Inspired by Carter G. Woodson’s teachings for African Americans to learn about their past, Carmen Mitzi Sinnott, the keynote presenter in our 2019 Black History celebration, will provide a dynamic performance using scenes from her internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast solo play “SNAPSHOT.” Ms. Sinnott says it illustrates “how knowing one’s true history is how we determine a future of real possibility.” The Honorable Steve Williams, mayor of Huntington; Jill Upson, executive director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, who will represent West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice; and other dignitaries will proclaim February as Black History Month and recognize Woodson’s contributions to Huntington, West Virginia and the world. Contact:

Sunday, Feb. 3

Carter G. Woodson Annual Soul Food Feast | 2 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, John Marshall Dining Room

Chitterlings, ribs, collard greens, and many other traditional African American dishes. $7 students-$15 Adults. For advance tickets, call 304-696-4677. Contact to learn more.

Monday, Feb. 4

Ain’t I A Woman | 7 p.m. | Joan C. Edwards Playhouse

This core ensemble performance celebrates the lives and times of four significant African American women: abolitionist Sojourner Truth, novelist Zora Neale Hurston, folk artist Clementine Hunter and civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer.

Wednesday, Feb. 6

“Poverty Simulation” | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, Don Morris Room

This program breaks down stereotypes by allowing participants to role-play lives of low income families. For tickets, visit

Thursday, Feb. 7

Carter G. Woodson Lecture | 4 p.m.  | Memorial Student Center, Shawkey Dining Room

This lecture will feature Norfolk State University’s Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, Ph.D., dean, College of Liberal Arts, professor of history, director of the Joseph Jenkins Roberts Center for African Diaspora Studies. Dr. Newby-Alexander will explain the historical impact of 1619 and commemorate the arrival 400 years ago of the first documented Africans and the largest group of marriageable English women in Jamestown, Virginia. A public reception will follow,sponsored by the Drinko Academy.

Monday, Feb. 11

“Don’t Call Me African.” | 6 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, BE-5

This panel discussion explores students’ views about what it means to be African, African American and black. Contact:

Wednesday, Feb. 13

“City Kids: Urban in West Virginia.” | 4:30 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, Shawkey Dining Room

This panel discussion involves personal experiences, challenges and emotions of some young people who have moved to West Virginia. Sponsored by the Center for African American Students & Black United Students. Contact:

Monday, Feb. 18

Annual Society of Black Scholars Service Learning Public Presentations  | 7 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, BE-5

Topic I: “History of Segregation in US Public Schools,” emphasis on West Virginia schools;
Topic II: “History of Segregation In US Colleges and Universities,” emphasis on US and West Virginia’s historically black colleges and universities. Contact

Tuesday, Feb. 19

Amicus Curiae Lecture Series | 7 p.m. | Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall

Speaker: The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins, US Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia Circuit. Judge Wilkins served as chairman of the site and building committee of the Presidential Commission that Congress established to plan the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Judge Wilkins will discuss the century-long struggle to establish the museum. The series is sponsored by the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, and this presentation is co-sponsored by The Woodson Lyceum.

Friday, Feb. 22

Annual Diversity Breakfast | 7:30 a.m. | Memorial Student Center, Don Morris Room

This breakfast celebrates of unity and the importance of a pluralistic society and a world of peace with others. The 2019 theme is “Building Bridges.” For reservations only, contact:

Saturday, Feb. 23

Annual Ebony Ball | 7:30 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, BE-5

Celebrate Black History Month in style. with a night of great music, food and wonderful people. “Best Dressed” Ebony Ball attendants will be crowned. Please wear formal or “cocktail” attire; the dress code will be strictly enforced. Purchase tickets at the door or by contacting

Saturday, Feb. 23

“African American Genealogy Day” | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Cabell County Public Library (455 Ninth Street, Huntington)

MU Libraries and Cabell County Public Library are hosting this event with speakers, hands-on activities and research time. Contact: Public Library, 304-528-5700 to register (max 25 people).

Monday, Feb. 25

A.E. Stringer Visiting Writers Series | 7 p.m. | Memorial Student Center, Don Morris Room

Speaker: Essayist and poet Hanif Abdurraqib. See story: Poets & Writers

Thursday, Feb. 28

Carter G. Woodson: The Early Years | TBD | WVU Tech (Beckley campus)

Presentation by Burnis Morris, Carter G. Woodson Professor at Marshall University. Contact:

Monday, March 4

Sara Denman Faces of Appalachia Presentation | 7 p.m. | Francis Booth Experimental Theatre

Speaker: Dr. David Trowbridge, associate professor of history. Co-sponsored by Appalachian Studies and the Drinko Academy.