We Celebrate! Black History Month 2024

Jan. 26, 2024
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In an effort to highlight the stories, culture, and contributions of Black people in America, historian and scholar Carter G. Woodson founded Negro History Week in 1926. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized the entire month of February as Black History Month. Although the shortest month of the year, February was intentionally selected because of the birthdays of American President Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12th) and American abolitionist Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14th).

The 2024 national theme for Black History Month is African Americans and the Arts. According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.

Black history is made every day. Let’s explore, teach, and celebrate Black history in February and beyond.

Join the W.A. Franke Honors College at our signature Black History Month event, Black Culture and Movement on Tuesday, February 13th from 4:00 pm-6:00 pm in the Honors Village Courtyard. The celebratory event will include history, performances, music, and food. All are welcome to attend.

Check out these resources:

UA African American Student Affairs 
African American Museum of Southern Arizona 
National Museum of African American History & Culture

Dr. Cheree Meeks
Assistant Dean for Programs, Diversity, and Inclusion


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February 13
4:00 - 6:00 PM 
Honors Village Courtyard

All Are Welcome! 


More Black Excellence, Innovation, & Events 

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Black History Month Kickoff Party | February 2, 7:00 PM | MLK Building Basement

Join African American Student Affairs for their Black History Month Kickoff Party! It will be an evening of food, community, and fun. Be sure to RSVP for AASA can plan accordingly!


 Sounds of History: An Evening of Jazz | February 10, 3:00 - 6:00 PM | Hotel Congress

Sounds of History: An Evening of Jazz brings together the local community for a event to explore connection and culture through history and music. SBS faculty Tyina Steptoe and Derrais Carter, along with Neto Portillo will speak about the cultural and historical importance of jazz over time both locally and nationally. Performances will include Tucson-area jazz musicians and local high school jazz bands.

Hop on the street car and head downtown Tucson for this free event, celebrating black culture and the history of jazz.

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Making Magic Happen: Black Women Enriching Tucson | February 13, 7:00 PM | University of Arizona Poetry Center Rubel Room

A panel of Black women innovators will discuss making an impact in Tucson, changing the world for everyone and thriving with joy. Panelists include Beverely Elliott, executive director of the African American Museum of Southern Arizona; Laura Pendleton-Miller, board president of Blue Lotus Artists Collective, and our very own Dr. Cheree Meeks, Assistant Dean for Programs, Diversity and Inclusion at the W.A. Franke Honors College. 


Black History Month Poetry Circle | February 15, 2:00 - 3:30 PM | Oro Valley Public Library

Celebrate Black History month with consideration to the enormous contributions to the art of selected important contemporary and modern American poets! This event is part of a monthly series of poetry discussions led by docents from the University of Arizona Poetry Center.

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