Welcome to Black History Month

The College of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with other units across campus, kicks off the spring 2022 semester with Black History Month. Throughout the month of February, the College is offering a student-centered calendar of events and programming that honors the histories and achievements of peoples of the African diaspora.

The College community recognizes the importance of taking a globalized approach to our celebration of Black intellectual and cultural life. At the same time, we acknowledge that the need for awareness and education about Black experiences doesn’t begin and end in February. Here, we present our Black History Month 2022 calendar as a starting point for year-round programming as we continue our work to advance racial equity and inclusion on our campus.

View additional Black History Month student programming from the Intercultural and Diversity Center.

Black History Month programs from the Office of Inclusive Excellence

Event Dates:

2022 Black History Month Schedule

Exhibit on Display Feb. 1 - Spring

Attica "Open Wounds" Exhibit.

“Open Wounds:” The 50-Year Legacy of the Attica Prison Uprising

Abbott Library, UB South campus

The Attica exhibit "Open Wounds" chronicles the 1971 Attica uprising and the aftermath.

Sponsored by the Department of Africana and American Studies and the UB Libraries.

Read the UB article about the exhibit.

Wednesday, Feb. 9 - Friday, Feb. 11

Professor Stephen Marc in residence in the Department of Africana and American Studies | "Underground Railroad" series

“American/True Colors”
3-5 p.m.
Capen Hall 109

Professor Marc also will give a lecture on his recent project American/True Colors which documents a grand new look at America in 2020 and its changing population. It is the winner of the 2021 Gold IPPY (Independent Publishers Book Award) for Best Book of the Year in the Photography category. He will give a guided tour of the exhibit that is on display in the department on the 10th floor of Clemens Hall.

From 2007 to 2020, spanning the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump, noted photographer Stephen Marc traveled throughout America in search of its people. He went to parades and protests, memorials and celebrations, rallies and rodeos, parks and festivities, historic sites, and city streets to see America as it is: multi-colored, multi-cultural, multi-racial, gender rich, and more diverse and urban than ever before in the nation's history. Behind each of the book's 250 compelling images is a patriotic reminder of America's robustness and promise and ongoing struggles with race and socio-economic issues as it seeks to become, as Abraham Lincoln declared in 1862, "a more perfect union." Stephen Marc's American/True Colors complements other significant photographic surveys of modern America: from Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Robert Frank, and Henri Cartier-Bresson to Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Mary Ellen Mark, Eli Reed, Bruce Davidson, Zoe Strauss, Leonard Freed, Vivian Maier, and others.

But no photographer has so fully looked at America, from coast to coast, as has Stephen Marc with his unique African American perspective. Writer/critic Bill Kouwenhoven, concludes: "Stephen Marc's vision leaves me breathless, and his eyes, as represented by his kaleidoscopic images, are vibrant testimony to the love he feels for our contradictory and self-contradicting land, one that too often seems at war with itself over the very shape of these United States."

About the speaker
Stephen Marc is a photographer, digital montage artist and professor of art in the Herberger College of Arts at Arizona State University. He was recently named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in photography by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Sponsored by the Department of Africana and African American Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Thursday, Feb. 10

Professor Stephen Marc in residence in the Department of Africana and American Studies | Passage on the Underground Railroad

11-1 p.m. 
2-4 p.m. 
Exhibit Tour 10th Floor of Clemens
Meet and Greet with Stephen Marc

Each tour is limited to 20 people. Registration is recommended.
To register email Yao Kahlil Newkirk

About the speaker
Stephen Marc
 is a photographer, digital montage artist and professor of art in the Herberger College of Arts at Arizona State University. He was recently named a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow in photography by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Sponsored by the Department of Africana and African American Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

Haiti Fights Back: Charlemagne Péralte & the Cacos

Yveline Alexis.

3:30 p.m.

Yveline Alexis, PhD, Associate Professor of Caribbean & Latin American History, Oberlin College 

Professor Alexis' talk is based on her new book, Haiti Fights Back: The Life and Legacy of Charlemagne Péralte.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

A conversation with Jeannette Jones, PhD, UB Distinguished Visiting Scholar

Jeannette Jones.

4 – 5 p.m.
Natural Sciences Complex (NSC) Room 306

Professor Jones will discuss aspects of her background, including her road to academia, and work related to areas of her expertise, which includes but not limited to African-American history and studies, history of science and science studies, and experiences advising and mentoring Black and African student/student groups, and working with BIPOC, Latinx, ADIPA, and LGBTQIA faculty, staff, and students on diversity, equity and inclusion.

This event is organized by the Graduate Student of Color Association.

Wednesday, Feb. 16

UB Distinguished Speaker Series Annual Martin Luther King, Jr Commemoration Keynote Speaker

Nikole Hannah-Jones
Nikole Hannah-Jones.

7 p.m.
UB Center for the Arts

Nikole Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer Prize-Winning Creator of "The 1619 Project" and New York Times Magazine Staff Writer. 

Cosponsored by the UB Department of Africana and American Studies and the UB Minority Faculty and Staff Association.

Thursday, Feb. 17

Physics Colloquium: Bryan Ramson, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Chicago, IL

Bryan Ramson.

3:30 p.m.
Natural Sciences Complex (NSC) Room 205

Ramson is a leading expert in particle physics as well as climate science. He performs research in quantum chromodynamics, nucleon structure, neutrino physics, as well as applications of big data, data science, machine learning, and quantum computing to particle physics. He is also a leader in the promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM and is the Professional Communication Lead for the #BlackInPhysics initiative. There will be an open interaction session at the end of the talk. 

About the speaker
Bryan Ramson is a postdoctoral researcher in the Fermilab Neutrino Division. He currently works as part of two large experimental collaborations at the cutting-edge of long-baseline neutrino physics: NOvA, and the upcoming DUNE, both hosted by Fermilab. He earned a smattering of degrees from Howard University and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor on topics ranging from climate science to nuclear physics. Some of his graduate work took place as a visiting scholar on the Argonne/Fermilab particle physics experiment, E906/SeaQuest. Before going to the University of Michigan, he was a visiting scholar at NASA where he worked on remote sensing in the atmosphere, properties of which have found particular significance in his recent work on neutrinos.

His current research interests involve the study of neutrino-nucleus interactions and the testing of new light-sensing hardware to be included in DUNE. When he is not thinking about quarks and leptons, he enjoys reading too many books, cars, weight lifting, yoga, and video games.

Friday, Feb. 18

Outside Influence with ToneyBoi

Feb. 18, March 18, April 15 and May 13
Season 6
Filmed at Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College
Directed by Brett Deneve

Arts Collaboratory YouTube channel

Outside Influence digs deep to reveal the roots of the Buffalo hip-hop community—while shining a light on the innovative artists who keep the scene growing and thriving. For six seasons running, we’ve invited Western New York’s most influential creators to share their stories. This season, we’re cultivating a whole new vibe by taking the show to the Burchfield Penney Art Center. ToneyBoi’s guests this spring include Dr. OoO, Gaine$, Rezult, and Short Moscato. We’ll find out where they go for inspiration whenever they’re home in Buffalo.

Presented by the UB Arts Collaboratory

Wednesday, Feb. 23

Studying Haiti in the French-Language Classroom

Cecile Accilien.

Cécile Accilien, PhD
Professor and Chair, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies
Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA

11 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Inspired by Professor Accilien’s forthcoming book, The Antiracist World Language Classroom, this event will provide both discussion and practice for work at the undergraduate level. The discussion will focus on some of the ways and reasons to study Haiti through intersectional lenses in the French-language classroom. It will consider the tension and co-existence of French and Haitian Creole in Haiti, as well as the ways in which colonialism and inclusion policies play into the division between the two languages in Haiti and around the world. Professor Accilien will also have an interactive exercise to engage students in considering experiences of intersectionality and practices of inclusion. This session will be held during the course meeting time of Intermediate French 2, but all students of all levels and guests are welcome.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Department of Linguistics and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Belonging 

Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives

2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. 

This presentation will highlight some of the stereotypes that instructors who teach about Haiti fall into, and provide critical problem-solving tools for avoiding such pitfalls. Based on Professor Accilien’s collaborative work in Teaching Haiti: Strategies for Creating New Narratives (U Florida P, 2021), the presentation will also examine the connection between Haiti, France and the U.S., and the role these actors play in continuing the single and often stifling narrative of Haiti.

About the speaker
Cécile Accilien, PhD, 
is professor and chair in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. She is the author of several books and articles that focus  on Caribbean and African cultures. She has written for Truthout and Latin American Commentator. She is the chair of the Editorial Board for the journal Women, Gender and Families of Color. She is also the vice-president of the Haitian Studies Association.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Belonging.

Friday, Feb. 25

Sociolinguistic dynamics of the uses of Creole in Ziguinchor

Ndieme Sow.

10 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

Ndiémé Sow, PhD
Associate Professor
University of Assane Seck, Zinguinchor

Urban multilingualism in Ziguinchor has considerably evolved since the 1970s, while Creole spoken by the Christian families of Santiaba, was a prestigious language, desirable and adopted by the populations who came into contact with this social elite (Moreau 1994, Juillard 1995). Many demographic and social changes led to the disaffection of Creole. Yet this language is still noted in the repertoire of many Ziguinchor native over the age of fifty. Its use has shrunk, faced with the significant breakthrough of Wolof since the 1980s. ­­­­Some recent observations indicate that Creole is being spoken again in the central market, with new uses and new functions. The Creole spoken today in Ziguinchor cannot be dissociated from the languages ​​of contact, both in the directories of users and in the interactions in which it appears (Nunes 2015). Using historical approaches (Rougé 1988, Moreau 1994) and a longitudinal perspective Prof. Sow examines the evolution of the functions, the uses of Creole in two Creole-speaking districts of the city (Santiaba and Tilène), since the 1980s and will focus on what it still means to speak Creole in different multilingual environments.

About the speaker
Ndiémé Sow
 is a sociolinguist and lecturer at Assane SECK University. She is a researcher at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Languages, Literatures, Arts and Cultures. She is particularly interested in interactional dynamics among young people and in the relationships between mobility, sociolinguistic spaces, education and plurilingual practices. Currently Prof. Sow works on linguistic diversity in border areas, and also directs a project on the relations between migratory dynamics and socio-linguistic diversity

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Department of Linguistics, and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Belonging.


Friday, Feb. 25

New Book Celebration for Jenifer Barclay, PhD

Jenifer Barclay.

3 p.m. 
Park 532 Hall and on Zoom

Jenifer Barclay, assistant professor in the Department of History and Kim Nielsen, professor of Disability Studies, History and Women’s and Gender Studies University of Toledo

A celebration in honor of Professor Jenifer Barclay and her new book, 
The Mark of Slavery: Disability, Race, and Gender in Antebellum America!

Professor Barclay will be joined by Kim Nielsen, PhD, from the University of Toledo to discuss her book.

Monday, Feb. 28

Complicating Identity Categories in Sociolinguistics

Sharese King.

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Sharese King, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Linguistics
University of Chicago

Professor King discusses why exploring intersectionality in sociolinguistics is vital for advancing both theory and social justice efforts (King 2020). The term intersectionality was coined by legal scholar, Kimberle Crenshaw, to account for the discrimination Black women faced at the intersection of both race and gender (Crenshaw 1989). Since, scholars across disciplines, including linguistics, have drawn on the theory to account for the complexity of identity, recognizing that dimensions of identity co-occur and co-constitute one another, with one informing the other (Levon 2015). Drawing on previous work from Rochester, NY, Prof. King proposes ways to operationalize this social theory into variationist analyses, providing a framework for studying multidimensionality. 

About the speaker
Sharese King, PhD, 
is a sociolinguist interested in the relationship between race, place, and language variation. She explores how African Americans use language to construct multidimensional identities and how these constructions are perceived and evaluated across different listener populations.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Department of Linguistics, and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Belonging.

Friday, March 4

From doll test to language test: Language, education and human rights in the 21st century

Michel Degraff.

Michel Degraff, PhD

Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Philosophy
Massachusetts Intitute of Technology

Professor Degraff will invite participants to explore the impact of colonization and slavery on contemporary hierarchies of languages in the Global South, including his native Haiti and most everywhere else in the Creole-speaking Caribbean and beyond. Then he will consider what sorts of "direct action" linguists can take to help break these mental chains and work toward making the world a better place for all — a world where #BlackLivesMatter, thus #OurLanguagesMatter...  #ToutMounSeMoun —> #ToutLangSeLang.

About the speaker

Michel Degraff, PhD, is Director of the MIT-Haiti Initiative, a project for the development, evaluation and dissemination of active-learning resources in Kreyòl to help improve Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education plus leadership and management in Haiti. He is also Founding Member of Akademi Kreyòl Ayisyen. Prof. Degraff's research interests include syntax, morphology, language change, and language and education.

Sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Department of Linguistics, and the College of Arts and Sciences Office of Diversity, Equity and Belonging.

Friday, March 18 – April 18

Sometimes It’s About Race, Sometimes It’s Not…But Sometimes It Is

Opening: Friday, March 18, 6-8 p.m.

Cass Gallery
500 Seneca
Buffalo, N.Y.
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday by appointment only

Tayron Lopez’s new body of work explores the emotion behind covert and overt racism, while creating a space for dialogue and validation on what’s universally felt amongst people of color, but not often understood or explicitly acknowledged. The lack of explicit acknowledgment and transparency can breed assumption (often unvoiced), which leads to repression and ultimately subconscious manifestation (code switching, paranoia, and self-doubt). Through several interviews, automatic and autobiographic drawings, and research, Tayron sets out to explore the thoughts and feelings of others when confronted by covert and overt forms of racism.

Major support provided by Savarino Companies. Presented by the UB Arts Collaboratory

Saturday, April 30

LADIES FIRST: A deeper look at the women nurturing Buffalo’s burgeoning hip-hop scene

7 - 9 p.m.

Curated by Schondra Aycht
Torn Space Theater

On the surface, hip-hop appears to be a male-dominated sport. Since the genre’s inception, women have redefined the sound, look and culture of the genre without receiving proper credit. As a new generation of listeners, artists and industry folk challenge the outdated perspectives that have often existed within the hip-hop community, it is imperative to create a space where women are celebrated for their contributions to the most influential sound in the world. In Buffalo, where the rising hip-hop scene is reaching a new frontier, many women who are involved in the musical arts have a two-fold mission—perfecting their gift and nurturing their community through their gift. 

Breakdancer Stacy VanBlarcom, DJ Lil Gab, Rapper A.I. The Anomaly and graffiti artist Ashley Kay all execute their talent on a high level along with a strong conviction to give back. With a gentle nod to the four elements of hip-hop, these ladies will showcase their talent and tell their stories along with a handful of women propagating hip-hop. You will not only learn what they do—but why they do it. In the powerful words of Queen Latifah, this is “Ladies First.”—Schondra Aycht, January 2022.

Presented by the UB Arts Collaboratory, Sneakvibing and Torn Space Theater