Arcadia Celebrates Black History Month

By Caitlin Burns | January 29, 2021

The Arcadia community is celebrating Black History Month with several events held throughout February from departments and offices across campus for students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. Throughout the month, Pan African Studies will host Film Fridays. More details on this event, and on all Black History Month programming, will follow.


I Have a Dream Knight 
Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 4 p.m.
Campus Life hosts its second workshop in collaboration with University Relations for the I Have a Dream Knight project, which partners community members who have similar interests in their presentation of Dr. King’s speech and enable those who want to work with a group to create something.

Arcadia Round Table Talk: Arcadia’s Legacy of Black Excellence
Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 6 to 7 p.m.
The Arcadia Alumni Association, in collaboration with the Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University, hosts its February Round Table Talk, “Arcadia’s Legacy of Black Excellence.” Learn from Beaver College and Arcadia University alumni and community members who played a critical role in celebrating our diversity, creating connections, and building equity within our institution. Featured speakers include Dr. George Cross ’99M, member of the Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University; Dr. Doreen Loury, director of the Pan African Studies Program and assistant professor of Sociology; and Dr. Angela McNeil, program director of Gateway to Success/ACT 101; and more.

African American Read In: Revolution, Resistance and Righteous Essays and Works
Tuesday, Feb. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. 
The African American Read In is an annual national event celebrating Africana literature and writing created by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in an effort to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month. Students, staff, faculty, trustees, and administrators are invited to attend and participate in Arcadia’s 8th annual African American Read In event. This year’s theme: Speeches delivered by African Americans.  Please select a speech and prepare to read a portion of a speech or essay written by an African American author. (Readings should be no longer than 5-7 minutes).

This event is sponsored by Act 101/Gateway to Success Program, Office of Institutional Diversity and Pan African Studies.  Contact Dr. Angela McNeil for more details.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever—Leadership Lessons T’Challa and Nakia
Thursday, Feb. 25, from 7 to 9 p.m.
Join us for an engaging and multifaceted discussion of the power of effective leadership.
Viewings of the movie will be shown before the discussion. Dates to be announced.
Discussion led byThe Black Awareness Society and the Pan-African Studies Department
More details to follow.

Documentary: “Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity”
Friday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m. 
The Office of Institutional Diversity will show the documentary “Blacking Up: Hip-Hop’s Remix of Race and Identity,” which looks at the popularity of hip-hop among America’s white youth. The documentary asks whether white identification is rooted in admiration and a desire to transcend race, or if it is merely a new chapter in the long continuum of stereotyping, mimicry, and cultural appropriation? Does it reflect a new face of racial understanding in white America, or does it reinforce an ugly history?

Arcadia’s Black History Month celebration also includes feature stories and news items that spotlight students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Check the weekly Arcadia newsletter and Arcadia’s social media channels for these pieces. Programming also continues into March, Women’s History Month, with events such as Philly Jawns: For Women Revisited on March 26, a 20+20 poetry anthology in tribute to Nina Simone. This event will be a collaboration with the Pan African Studies Department and The Black Alumni Association and a March 30 forum on Women Who Lead, with Paayal Nair. 

University Black History Month News, Features, and Profiles

  • Mya Brown ’21 had dreamed of being a surgeon to help those suffering from Hydrocephalus, which is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid within the cavities of the brain. However, after her first year at Arcadia University, she found her passion for art and will graduate this May with a degree in graphic design. Read more
  • In, “We Were the Last of the Nice Negro Girls,” a first-account piece in The Atlantic, playwright and actor Anna Deavere Smith ’71, ’93H reflects on forging her Black identity and empowering her defiance while at Beaver College. 
  • During a live interview with WURD Radio’s The Source with Andrea Lawful Sanders, Dr. Doreen Loury, director of the Pan African Studies Program and assistant professor of Sociology, discussed her upbringing in Columbus, Ohio and recent racial and social justice protests. “Understanding the history and understanding where you want to put your energy and knowing how many people are going to be affected is what’s most important. Before you do anything, you have to think about how future generations are going to see this.”  
  • Women’s ice hockey coach Kelsey Koelzer spoke with NBC Sports Philadelphia‘s Michael Barkann on what it means to be the first NCAA Black hockey coach. “It is uplifting to see the number of Black girls that are playing at high levels and dominating the play.”