2023 Black History Month

Black History Month

The theme for 2023, established by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, is “Black Resistance.” According to the ASALH website, “This is a call to everyone, inside and outside the academy, to study the history of Black Americans’ responses to establish safe spaces, where Black life can be sustained, fortified, and respected.” The Association also shares information on the origins of Black History Month.

In addition to events on campus, resources for the month are listed below.

EJI ExcursionFeatured Activity for the Month

Equal Justice Initiative Excursion

Saturday, Feb. 25 | 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. | Montgomery, Alabama
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will provide transportation and free tickets for UA students to visit the Equal Justice Initiative’s facilities in Montgomery, Alabama. The trip will feature self-guided tours of the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Please note: check-in will be at 7:30 a.m. by the flagpole at the Student Center.

This free program is only for UA Students. Spaces are limited. Registration is required

This event also will feature a pre- and post-discussion to review the topics exhibited in the museum and memorial. The interactive discussions will be led by Dr. John Giggie, award-winning researcher and associate professor in the UA Department of History and director of the Summersell Center for the Study of the South.

The pre-event discussion will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the Intercultural Diversity Center from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Register for the pre-event discussion.

The post-event discussion will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Intercultural Diversity Center from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Register for the post-event discussion.

For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Diversity, Coffee and Conversations

Tuesday, Feb. 7 │ 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center, 2100 Student Center
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
Open to Faculty, staff, and students

Dr. Tyshawn Gardner
Dr. Tyshawn Gardner

The Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s monthly program highlights upcoming cultural holidays. Participants will learn about different cultures, traditions and customs through insight and knowledge from different representatives. Dr. Tyshawn Gardner, associate professor and director of the Preministerial Scholars Program at Samford University, will be the speaker for February. He will discuss understanding the historical origin of Black History Month; detail the cultural importance of civil rights in relation to the month; share ways in which his work contributes to the advancement of the month and this year’s theme (Black Resistance); and identify ways to exhibit allyship with the Black community.

Dr. Gardner has deep ties to Tuscaloosa. He previously served as vice president for Student Affairs at Stillman College, senior pastor at Plum Grove Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, and adjunct faculty member at The University of Alabama and Beeson Divinity School. He is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In addition, Dr. Gardner previously served as president of the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founder/CEO of Citizens Impacting Community Association, Inc., disaster relief coordinator for the Alabama Missionary Baptist State Convention, and as an advisory board member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Realizing the Dream Committee and of Elevate Tuscaloosa Cultural Arts and Tourism. For more information, contact the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at diversity@ua.edu.

TEDTalk Tuesdays designTEDTalk Tuesday: “The Fight for Civil Rights and Freedom”

Tuesday, Feb. 14 | noon-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center, 2100 Student Center
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement)
*Open to UA Students, Faculty, Staff, & UA Systems

This TEDTalk Tuesday segment features the late civil rights leader and longtime U.S. Congressman John Lewis in conversation with lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson. Lewis talks about the essential importance of voting, give words of wisdom for the generation of young people currently organizing in the struggle for racial justice, and shares stories of his journey. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Hallowed Grounds Hallowed Grounds Tour

Throughout February | 1 hour | Gorgas House

The UA Black Faculty and Staff Association Ambassadors have partnered with Dr. Hilary Green to give the Hallowed Grounds tour, a product of Dr. Green’s research on the history of slavery at The University of Alabama. The 45-minute tour is open to current students, alumni, faculty, staff, community members and potential students. All tours begin at Gorgas House. Guided tours will be available only on the dates and times listed on the RVSP form. People who want to take the tour should use the RSVP form to sign up for a time. Tour capacity is limited to a maximum of 25 people.

Ethel Hall African American Heritage Month CelebrationDr. Ethel H. Hall African American Heritage Month Celebration

Wednesday, Feb. 15 | 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Bryant Conference Center

The School of Social Work hosts this event. This year’s theme is “Promoting Maternal Health: Understanding and Addressing Racial Disparities in Alabama.” Registration is required.

Memory, History and Catastrophe

The Legacy of Lynching: The Memorial for Peace and Justice

Tuscaloosa Takes the WorldWednesday, Feb. 15 | 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. | Camellia Room, Gorgas Library

Those who study mass violence and war know about perpetrators and victims; but what about those who are more ambiguously implicated?  How are we to discuss, understand, remember, and account for their actions? How do societies and individuals “come back” from or own such ambiguous implications? Three interlocking discussions, centered on short documentaries, are planned for the theme “Memory, History and Catastrophe.”

The Feb. 15 event is an account of the creation of the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, undertaken by the Equal Justice Initiative, centered around an interview with Bryan Stevenson. Refreshments will be provided. The event is sponsored by the UA Department of Political Sciences with thanks to the Aronov Chair in Judaic Studies, the Chambers Chair in Middle Eastern Studies, UA Department of Theater and Dance and UA Libraries.

The first discussion was held Jan. 31. The next discussion on this topic will be March 8.

Black graduate student panelBlack Graduate Student Experience Panel

Monday, Feb. 20 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. | Yellow Hammer Room, Gorgas Library

This professional panel will highlight the experience of Black scholars in academia. It is an opportunity to network and fellowship. Refreshments will be provided. The event is hosted by the UA Graduate Student Association and the UA African American Graduate Student Association.

Black Student Union Week

Feb. 20-26 

BSU Week activitiesThe Black Student Union is hosting its BSU Week Feb. 20-26 at various locations on campus and in the Tuscaloosa community. For 55 years the Black Student Union, formerly known as the Afro-American Association, has continued to honor its founding principles of filling the academic, social and community outreach needs of Black students at UA with BSU Week. All events for the week are free and open to all. For more information, contact the BSU at theblackstudentunionua@gmail.com or @BSU_UA on Instagram for updates.

Breakfast with BSU — Monday, Feb. 20, 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., BSU Office, 1805 Student Center. BSU will provide food from Panera Bread Co. to kick off BSU Week.

A Night in Church — Monday, Feb. 20, 6 p.m., North Lawn Hall.

BSU Volunteers: West Alabama Clean-up — Tuesday, Feb. 21, 3:30 p.m., Benjamin Barnes YMCA. Join BSU in collaboration with Mind Changers in doing a community clean-up. Volunteers will meet at the Barnes Branch YMCA and clean up around West Tuscaloosa, specifically the common areas around Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Stillman Boulevard.

Fashion Show — Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., Student Center Theater. BSU presents “Lift Every Voice and Strut, a fashion show dedicated to highlighting Black couture and excellence. The event features DJ J. Dolla

State of the Black Union 2023State of the Black Union — Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., Bryant Conference Center, Birmingham Room. The State of the Black Union serves to educate participants on the meaning behind the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” as presented by renowed scholar and lecturer Dr. Timothy Askew, professor of English and Humanities at Clark Atlanta University. The event also will feature hip-hop violinist Derryck “DSharp” Gleaton, and a call to action by spoken-word poet Imani “J-Lyte” Williams. The event is co-sponsored by The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

DSharp is no stranger to UA. In 2009, DSharp was commissioned by UA to write a piece for the unveiling of an African American art collection donated to the university by Paul R. Jones. He will close out The State of the Black Union with a performance of hip-hop and electronic dance music.

UA alum and poet J-Lyte will serve as the call-to-action speaker. J-Lyte began writing poetry after her mother had her memorize and perform a poem for her kindergarten show-and-tell. Her charismatic nature and commanding presence are sure to inspire participants as she challenges them to act on what they learned at the event.

Permissions Vol. 1Hoops for Heart — Friday, Feb. 24, 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Student Rec Center. BSU will host a Hoops for Heart basketball tournament to support the American Heart Association. Teams and volunteers can sign up for the men’s 3-on-3 event until Feb. 17 at 5 p.m.

“Permissions Vol. 1” — Sunday, Feb. 26, 3 p.m. Student Center Theater. UA BSU hosts the American debut of Xavia Jackson’s “Permissions Vol. 1,” which originally debuted in London, England. “Permissions Vol. 1” is an experience that explores layers of afro-futurism, surrealism, and expressionism with Black American performance culture of stepping, spoken word, historically Black colleges and universities majorette, and world-renowned violinist DSharp. The performance delves into the expressions of hope in Black culture while addressing the visibility of blackness in Black American communities and against Black men. Performed by an all-Black cast, “Permissions Vol. 1” was created, produced and choreographed by UA alumna, master choreographer and movement artist Xavia Jackson. Jackson created “Permissions” while at the University of Roehampton in London. He sought to answer the question “What happens when a Black man gives himself permission to dream?” The event is co-sponsored by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

TEDTalk Tuesdays designTEDTalk Tuesday: “The Real Story of Rosa Parks”

Tuesday, Feb. 21 | noon-1 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center, 2100 Student Center
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement)
*Open to UA Students, Faculty, Staff, & UA Systems

This TEDTalk Tuesday program features David Ikard. He talks about the story of Rosa Parks and highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy. For more information, contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Nabil Ayers eventOn the Intersection of Music, Race and Family

Tuesday, Feb. 21 | 4 p.m. | 38 Lloyd Hall (enter at side of Lloyd Hall)

Nabil Ayers, the New York City-based U.S. president of major international indie music lable consortium Beggars Group, discusses a life in music, complex memoir of his family history and his famous father, Black jazz legend Roy Ayers. Nabile Ayers’ book is titled “My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for my Father and Discovering my Family.” The event is sponsored by New College, Levitetz Leadership Program, School of Music, Blount Scholars, American Studies, and Gender and Race Studies.

Lunch and LearnLunch and Learn: Black Resistance from the Lens of the LGBTQIA+ Community

Wednesday, Feb. 22 | Noon-1 p.m. | 2408 Student Center
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement) 
*Open to faculty, staff and students

In support of Black History Month, Safe Zone Resource Center will host a panel discussion featuring the experiences of African American LGBTQIA+ individuals at UA. Participants will have the opportunity to hear about the lived experiences of the panelists as they discuss their experiences with black resistance through the lens of the LGBTQIA+ community. A catered lunch will be provided to participants while supplies last. Registration is required. For more information, contact the Safe Zone Resource Center at safezone@ua.edu. 

Pop Up Shop:  Black History Month

Wednesday, Feb. 22 | 1 p.m.-2 p.m. | Intercultural Diversity Center, 2100 Student Center
(Cultural Exploration/Educational Engagement/Social Enrichment)
*Open to UA Students, Faculty & Staff, UA System

The Intercultural Diversity Center kicks off its Pop-Up Shop Series for the Spring 2023 semester with a focus on Black History Month and its theme of Black Resistance. Black History Month honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about key and prominent civil rights figures through visual presentations, view the exhibition and receive educational materials. Lunch will be provided. For more information, please contact the Intercultural Diversity Center at ua_idc@ua.edu.

Nightcrawling book coverEveryWoman Book Club

Thursday, Feb. 23 | Noon-1 p.m. | Legends Bistro, Hotel Capstone

This month’s featured book is “Nightcrawling” by Leila Mottley. The book was featured in Oprah’s Book Club and is described as a novel about “a young Black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system.”

The book club is open to faculty, staff, community members and graduate students. More information: email elester1@ua.edu.

Distinguished New Criminologist Research Presentations

Friday, Feb. 24 | 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. | 205 Smith Hall

The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice is hosting a Ph.D. student diversity research competition, with the goal of identifying and celebrating a distinguished new criminologist.

  • Paul Oder from John Jay College of Criminal Justice: “Gentrification, Lead Poisoning, and Youth Violence in New York City”
  • Sara Thompson from Rutgers University: “Exploring Banditry in Nigeria”
  • Chris Seto from Pennsylvania State University: “Epidemic of Hate: Exploring Predictors of Anti-Asian Violence during COVID-19”
  • Julie Kuper from Florida State University: “Trauma Made in America: The Consequences of Violent Victimization for Immigrant Youth in Early Adulthood”

If you would like to attend, please RSVP.

‘Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story’

Monday, Feb. 27 | 5 p.m. | 1008 Nursing Building 

The Capstone College of Nursing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee presents movie night with a showing of “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” Free pizza and popcorn will be provided.


Honoring Black Pioneers in Higher Education: Campus Tours as Memory Work

Alabama Public Television offers a collection of series and specials.

PBS Block Party streams new and beloved programs celebrating Black excellence.

NPR Music celebrates the month with special programming and seven new Tiny Desk concerts featuring legends and emerging stars:

The National Archives offers Black History Month Resources.

The National Endowment for the Humanities provides a Teacher’s Guide on African American History and Culture in the United States.

National Park Service commemorations and celebrations share stories, rich culture and an opportunity to reflect on Black history around the country.

The Smithsonian Institute National Museum of African American History and Culture humanizes history and objects through the lives, tragedies and triumphs of everyday people while paying tribute to Black pioneers’ contributions.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum features Black History Month.

Black History Month TV and Streaming Calendar 2023