Campus celebrates Black History Month

Black History Month

Black History Month honors African American contributions to American society. (Courtesy of African American Student Development)

As Black History Month draws to a close, UC Berkeley faculty, staff and students continue to commemorate and celebrate the contributions of African Americans in shaping the history of the United States with a series of educational, social and entertainment events.

Berkeley’s African American Student Development Office will wrap up its monthlong program of events with an entertainment showcase at Krutch Theater on the Clark Kerr Campus. The evening event will feature a fashion show celebrating African American culture and community performances of drama, dance, song and spoken word inspired by black activists and artists throughout history.

The Feb. 29 “Black Experience through Expression” showcase is free for students and open to the public.

The student-run Multicultural Community Center is hosting a mini-exhibition of artwork showcasing African American contributions to American culture through the end of the month. MCC is located in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union.

The Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive will bring the curtain down on its annual African Film Festival with the Feb. 29 showing of the 2010 Spanish-Moroccan collaboration You All Are Captains.

The origins of Black History Month can be traced to the 1920s when African American scholar Carter Godwin Woodson began Negro History Week to highlight the contributions of blacks to the history and growth of the nation.

Black History Month first attained national recognition in 1976 during the United States’ bicentennial. Celebrations this year revolved around the theme “Black Women in American Culture and History.”

The campus opened Black History Month with the 2012 California Diversity and Leadership Conference, which tackled the underrepresentation of women and other minorities in the workplace.