Celebrate Black History Month 2019 in Grand Rapids

We are Not Invisible
Friday, February 1, 12:00 – 1:30 pm. 2204, Pere Marquette, Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale.

A presentation on the significance and importance of Black History Month and it’s transition from Negro History Week. This presentation will include an exhibit of the experiences of several Black students through their own artistic lens; followed by a Taste of Soul which includes a presentation on the scraps that
African-American people were given to feed themselves.

12th Annual Grand Rapids Legacy Luncheon
Tuesday, February 5, 11:30 am-1 pm. New Hope Baptist Church

Commemorate scholarship recipients, recognize community leaders and celebrate community at the Grand Rapids Legacy Luncheon, this year featuring a keynote address by first woman Chief Houston METRO Police Department and 42nd President of National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Vera Bumpers.

Grand Rapids Race Riots
Wednesday, February 6, 12:00 – 1:00 pm. 2270, Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale.

A presentation and discussion on the Grand Rapids Riots of 1967 that occurred as a result of deep racial tensions, discrimination, and lack of opportunity for people of color.

Black Family History Series
February 9, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm. Grand Rapids Public Library.

What parent or grandparent hasn’t had a child ask where they came from? While these family history questions are universal, answers can sometimes be challenging to find. This is especially true for African Americans interested in their family history. Join us for a series of workshops that will help people of African American ancestry learn and document your family’s genealogical history. Hosted by local genealogist Joyce Daniels. Registration is not required, however, a free lunch will be provided if you RSVP to rsvp@grpl.org. Co-sponsored by the Western Michigan Genealogical Society.

Talk Back Tuesday
Tuesday, February 12, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. 1201, Center for Women and Gender Equity, Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale.

A conversation on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in the Black Community.

In Conversation with Randal Jelks
Tuesday, February 12, 7:00-9:00 pm. Schuler Books, 2660 28th St SE.

Join for an in conversation event featuring award-winning author Dr. Randal Jelks, where he will discuss his most recent work, Faith and Struggle in the Lives of Four African Americans: Ethel Waters, Mary Lou Williams, Eldridge Cleaver and Muhammad Ali. Dr. Jelks will be available after the event for a book signing.

Education, Civil Rights and Equality: Cornerstones for our Future
Wednesday, February 13, 7 pm. Fountain Street Church, 24 Fountain St. NE. 

Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at the age of just 22, he defeated a 26-year incumbent to become the youngest member of the South Carolina Legislature and the youngest African-American elected official in the nation. In 2014, he was South Carolina’s Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. In addition to serving on President Barack Obama’s South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election, Sellers is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and a leading voice for his generation. He has been named to Time magazine’s “40 Under 40” in 2010, 2014, and 2015; and “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African-Americans. He has provided commentary and analysis to CNN and MSNBC, including in appearances on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Morning Joe.” He now serves on the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee’s National Council.

Positive Black Woman Luncheon
Thursday, February 14, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale. 

An annual event hosted by GVSU Positive Black Women to give honor and recognition to those that have made a way and shaped “our” history. PBW Presents: Loving Our History. This event will highlight black women who have made notable contributions but have had their work intentionally overlooked or left out. Women that have carried the load and worked tirelessly with no honorable mentions. The tribute will include various forms of art for inspiration and provide space for examination of this pernicious phenomenon of erasing and editing “our” stories. All are welcomed to attend. Lunch will be provided.

Riot, Race and Reconciliation
Monday, February 14, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Grand Rapids Public Library.

George Bayard will discuss the origins and results of the uprising of black during the summer of 1967. His documentary, Riot, Race and Reconciliation will serve as a backdrop for the talk. In the documentary, local residents and historians share their recollections of that tumultuous time. Artifacts from the African American Museum and Archives will add further context to the talk. This program is
co-sponsored by the Grand Rapids Historical Society.

Taste of Soul Sunday
Thursday, February 17, 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Grand Rapids Public Library. 

Join us as we celebrate African American history and culture at Taste of Soul Sunday. Sample African American art, music, literature, history, and food. Performances by Tom Cutts, Yolanda Lavender, Asamu Johnson and the Associates of Blues, and The Gospel Believers. Presentations by author Stephen Mack Jones, storyteller Shani Womack, the Ebony Road Players, and New Hope Baptist Live African American Museum. Free food samples provided by: TaDow BBQ, The Candied Yam, Irie Kitchen, and Flavorful Pound Cakes. Free and open to the public. Visit www.grpl.org/tasteofsoul for
more information.

Celebration of Gospel
Sunday, February 17, 3:00 pm. Cook DeWitt Center, 10720 N Campus Dr, Allendale.

A musical tribute to Black Gospel with a reflection on the impact it has had on the African-American community.

Get Yo Mind Right with Latrece McDaniel, Coordinator of Multicultural & Diversity Initiatives at Grand Valley State University
Tuesday, February 19, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm.  2263, Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale.

A discussion on the mental wellbeing of students of color with strategies to identify when you should seek help.

Conversations of Color
Wednesday, February 20, 12:00 – 1:00 pm. Office of Multicultural Affairs, 1240 Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale. 

A discussion involving the treatment of African-American women within health care and how they are constantly ignored and fatally suffering as a result.

Conversations of Color are conversations initiated and facilitated by students. Topics and issues will vary every session. This small and open venue offers students the opportunity to share, talk, discuss and learn from each other, as well as initiate programming on areas and topics of issue or concern.

Black Islam in the United States
Thursday, February 21, 12:00 – 1:30 pm, 2263 Kirkhof Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale.

A presentation that explores the history of Black Islam in the United States and the impact that Black Muslims have had in American culture. Black Muslims have played an important role in several areas including sports, music, and business. Special attention will be paid to the rich history of the Black Islam in Michigan

Building Your Brand
Friday, February 22, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Holton Hooker Living Center, Multipurpose, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale.

A panel discussion on how to create a personal brand of integrity as well as an entrepreneurial brand. Panelists include successful African-American entrepreneurs.

Black Film Fridays: Moonlight
Friday, February 22, 12:00-3:00 pm, 2263 Kirkhoff Center, 10670 S Campus Dr, Allendale. 

Movie showing from 12:00-2:00 pm, panel discussion 2-3 pm.

AfroFest: Michigan’s Largest Afro Party
Friday, February 22,  5:20-10:00 pm. Niko’s Landing Banquet Center, 5852 King Hwy, Kalamazoo.

This event celebrates the beauty and culture of the African American Community in honor of Black History Month. Attendees are encouraged to wear Afro’s and flaunt off their natural hairstyles

 
Giants Awards and Banquet

Saturday, February 23, 6 pm. DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW.
Since 1983, thirteen African American individuals and/or organizations are recognized annually for their exceptional contributions shaping the history and quality of life of greater Grand Rapids. The awards recognize the contributions from all aspects of community life. Each award is named after local individuals who have given excellence and is a perpetual memorial to their notable contributions. Proceeds from the event will support the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation’s Milo M. Brown Memorial Scholarship and the Jr. Giants Fund. Two or more scholarships are awarded annually.

I Rock My Own: Natural Hair Portraits
Sunday, February 24, 11 am- 6 pm. DeVos Place, 303 Monroe Ave NW. 

A free community experience exploring the journey of cultural identity through natural hair. Professional photographers will be onsite all day taking portraits capturing your unique hair story. Photos will be processed immediately and uploaded to a dynamic online gallery. Participants will be able to download their portrait from the gallery.

I Rock My Own Panel Discussion
Monday, February 25, 6:00-8:00 pm. Muse GR, 727 Leonard St NW

Delve into the history, education and artistry of natural hair.

Black Girls Rock!
Tuesday, February 26, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. 2204, Pere Marquette, Kirkhof Center

An award ceremony that honors some of Grand Valley’s influential Black women professionals.

 

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