Elon to celebrate Black History Month with programs throughout February

A series of events coordinated by the Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education will celebrate Black History Month at Elon.

Elon’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education is hosting a series of programs recognizing Black History Month with offerings throughout February.

The theme of the 2021 Black History Month celebration at Elon, “Imagining a Black Future,” honors the contributions of Black historical figures and embraces the challenge of imagining a Black future. Mark Dery coined the term “Afrofuturism” in the essay “Black to the Future,” which explores specific expressions of Blackness, Black struggles, and Black ideas through technology, culture, and speculative fiction.

Sub-themes for Black History Month:

  • Remembering the Past: The events of the past are the foundation of our knowledge. We must learn the lessons of previous successes and failures as a guide to a better future.
  • Capturing the Present: What is happening now shapes how we can foresee the future. We must understand the present context that we exist in and the roles that we play in perpetuating systems of oppression.
  • Envisioning the Future: Achieving liberation means constructing a world that we have never seen before. We must embrace a radical creativity and elevate minoritized voices to accomplish our goal of a better world.

If you have any questions, please contact CREDE Assistant Director John Robinson-Miller IV at jrobinsonmiller@elon.edu or (336)-278-7243.

Black History Month Events and Programs at Elon

“February 1: Lessons from the Lunch Counter”

February 1, 6 to 9 p.m. — McKinnon Hall

Join the Center for Leadership for an interactive way to learn about the methods and organizational approaches used by leaders during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.

Iconic songs, footage, photographs, and words from the Woolworth Lunch Counter Sit-Ins originally in Greensboro, NC,  will be used to capture the vibrancy, challenges, risks, setbacks, and gains of these events.  After learning about the non-violent protests, visitors are invited to participate in a lunch counter sit-in simulation and place themselves in the shoes of non-violent protesters on February 1st, 1960. Participants will also get a free 2021 calendar from the Equal Justice Initiative.

Register for a Timed Entry Pass below. (With a Timed Entry Pass, visitors can stop by the exhibit and simulation at any point during their designated pass time) Click below to register today!

* To assist us with safety measures, we encourage participants to register ahead in advance. We welcome visitors that have not registered, but priority entrance will be made available to registered guests.

Sponsored by the Center for Leadership

Fake Break Black Faculty, Staff and Student Game Zone

February 4, 3 to 5 p.m. — McKinnon Hall

Human connection, conversations, and fun are key elements of self-care. As we wrap up Winter Break this is a time for black faculty, staff, and students to informally connect over conversations and games.

Sponsored by the Black Employee Resource Group and the CREDE

Rainbow of Excellence Social

February 5, 5 to 6 p.m. — virtual

We are hosting a virtual social where Elon’s queer and trans students of color can come together to meet and conversate in a safe space. We will also have the pleasure of hearing from our guest speaker, Max Wright as they take us through a meaningful dialog and activity!

Sponsored by the Gender and LGBTQIA Center and QTPOC

The Collective Expo

February 9, 6:30 to 8 p.m. — McKinnon Hall

The Collective Expo is an event where we will showcase opportunities to network with and support black organizations at Elon, but also greater Alamance County. The goals is to create a space and event where students can come and learn more about organizations in and around Elon that are working to create a more equitable society and working to dismantle racism. The event will be expo style; come and learn about orgs, how to connect, and get involved!

Sponsored by the East and Oaks neighborhoods and the CREDE

Black Student and Fac/Staff Coffee Connection

February 16, 9:40 to 10:20 a.m. — Irazu or your own location

We invite black students to sign-up and connect with a black faculty or staff member over a hot beverage at Irazu to get to know each other, connect over goals and broaden your Elon network. It’s quick and easy… we are asking students to sign-up to participate by February 12th in order to be matched with a faculty or staff member. Once matched you will get information on how to get a beverage from Irazu on February 16th to connect either in person or virtually.

Sponsored by the CREDE and the Black Employee Resource Group

African and African-American Studies Author of the Month

February 17, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m. — via Zoom

Part of the monthly series, an invited scholar (author) of the month will share their scholarship as it relates to the African and African American experience. The presentation and discussion will be held during the lunch hour for a group of 15 faculty and staff.

Sponsored by the African and African American Studies Program

Black Lawyers Matter

February 17, 3:30 to 5 p.m. — via Zoom

Details to be announced later

Sponsored by the Office of Career & Student Development and the Black Law Students Association


February 18, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. — via Zoom

As part of El Centro’s “What They Didn’t Teach You in the Books” series, this presentation will discuss the intersectional identities of Black Latinx folx, their history in Latinx/Hispanic countries, contributions, and representation in the media.

Sponsored by El Centro

Black History Month Trivia

February 18, 6:30 p.m — via Zoom

Please join East, Colonnades, and Historic in our Black History Month Trivia! Jump in via Zoom to test your knowledge of history and win some prizes along the way!

Sponsored by the East, Historic and Colonnades neighborhoods

Student Union Board Movie: “Selma”

February 19 & 20 — 8 p.m.

Civil-rights activists march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery to secure voting rights for black Americans in this docudrama, which focuses on the actions of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sponsored by the Student Union Board

“Our Shelf to Yours”

February 24, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Center for Leadership, Moseley 224

Celebrate Black voices! This event allows individuals to select a free book by a Black author. The carefully curated collection will feature a wide range of genres. Limited spots available and registration required. Check out www.elon.edu/leadership for more information.

Sponsored by the Center for Leadership

“For Wyatt Outlaw:” Film and Panel Discussion on Lynching in the U.S.

February 24, 6:30 to 8 p.m. – via Zoom

Members of the Elon University and greater community are invited to screen the documentary “An Outrage”, which is a short 33-minute film on lynchings in the US (available free after creating an account at https://www.tolerance.org/classroom-resources/film-kits/an-outrage), prior to joining together for a panel discussion on lynching and other forms of anti-Black violence in Alamance County. The discussion will focus on the acknowledgment and remembrance of the Wyatt Outlaw, Wm. Puryear, and John Jeffress murders, including the Elon connections. The panelists will also discuss the work of the Community Remembrance Coalition and their recent proposal to the Equal Justice Initiative. Panelists will include faculty and members from the Coalition.

Sponsored by the African and African American Studies Program, Poverty and Social Justice Program, and History and Geography Department

An Introduction to Afrofuturism and Rap: An open class of Rap, Race, Gender and Philosophy

February 24, 7 to 8:40 p.m. — via Zoom

The Rap, Race, Gender, and Philosophy (PHL 363) is a class that examines rap music, its history, and its relation to politics and economics, racial and gender injustice, and both how the world is and how it might be. This program is an open class: we are inviting others to join our class for a led discussion, intended to introduce the class, and those who are joining us, to Afrofuturism and its relationship to rap in two ways: the explicit and thematic use of Afrofuturism by rap artists (e.g., Afrika Bambaataa and clipings.) and the use of Afrofuturism as a lens for understanding rap writ large (e.g., how Afro-pessimism can help us understand “gangsta,” aka “reality” rap).

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department, the Philosophy, Politics and Economics minor and Phi Sigma Tau

Opening Doors: Internship Opportunities for Business Leaders of Color

February 25, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. — via Zoom

Learn from alumni who have navigated the internship search as an underrepresented student. Gain insights on companies that have notable programs for underrepresented students.

Sponsored by the Porter Family Professional Center, the Underrepresented Business Student Alliance Network and the CREDE

Afro-Latinx Cooking Class

February 25, 6:30 p.m. — via Zoom

Join Kiah Glen, Assistant Director for the CREDE, as she will be hosting our yearly Afro-Latinx cooking class. Registrants can cook from the comfort of their homes while we livestream this cooking event.

Sponsored by the CREDE

Black Solidarity Day: Embracing a Black Future

February 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — via Zoom. Register here by February 20

Black Solidarity Day began in 1969, due to the work of Brooklyn College professor Carlos Russell, as a demonstration of Black liberation. Now 50 years since its inception, Black Solidarity Day will take place at Elon University for its 7th Annual Conference. The Elon University Black Solidarity Conference aims to unite Black-identifying students, faculty, and staff by providing an avenue through which Black identity, Black intersectionality, and building solidarity are explored. This year we continue to offer an allyship, anti-racism, anti-black racism track designed specifically for non-black identified participants who want to learn more about anti-Blackness, oppression, power, privilege, and ways in which they can be better allies with Black communities. We encourage presentations from persons of all backgrounds with expertise in the following topics to submit to the appropriate tracks. If you have specific questions, please contact bsd@elon.edu or John Robinson-Miller IV, Assistant Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education (336-278-7244).

Sponsored by the CREDE and the Black Student Union

Student Union Board Movie: “42”

February 26 & 27, 8 p.m.

Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. “42” tells the story of two men—the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey—whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball. In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team, breaking Major League Baseball’s infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and even other players. Facing unabashed racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey’s hopes. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking—ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow.

Sponsored by the Student Union Board