LSU Celebrates Black History Month

02/02/2012 04:39 PM

BATON ROUGE - LSU celebrates Black History Month every February, recognizing the struggles, strides and accomplishments of African-Americans. Following the 2012 national theme of “Celebrating Black Women in American Culture and History,” the LSU Black History Month Committee will honor women during the celebration’s events, which include the “Blacks in Academia Lecture Series,” a poetry night, the Mr. & Miss Imani Pageant and a reunion.


The “Blacks in Academia Lecture Series” returns to the Black History Month celebration for the second straight year. Since this year’s theme is centered on celebrating black women, the Black History Month Committee found it necessary for each of the featured lecturers to be women of color who are given the opportunity to highlight and share their research in their specific areas of expertise to both the students and the LSU community.


The “Blacks in Academia Lecture Series” began on Wednesday, Feb. 1, with a lecture by professor Cassandra Chaney, and will continue with lectures by professor Brenda Osbey on Wednesday, Feb. 8, and professor Solimar Otero on Wednesday, Feb. 15. All of the lectures will take place at noon in the grand salon of the French House.


On Thursday, Feb. 9, LSU will host the Sankofa Poetry Night at 6 p.m. in the LSU Student Union Magnolia Room. Sankofa Poetry Night will showcase some of LSU’s most outstanding student poets as they creatively express themselves through the spoken word. The program will include a live music and a dessert reception.


The LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative and Black & Proud will host “Black Masculinity in American: A Sideline Story,” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. in Room 225 of Peabody Hall.


The annual Mr. & Miss Imani Scholarship Pageant will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the LSU Student Union Ballroom. The pageant showcases the top African-American student leaders on campus. With this year’s theme of “Celebrating Black Love and Achievement,” the pageant will highlight the numerous accomplishments of African-Americans throughout history. Contestants will compete for the title of Mr. & Miss Imani 2012 in a variety of showcases, including casual and formal wear, business attire and on-stage questions. The program will also include musical and dance performances by several student organizations, and pageant winners will receive a scholarship award to assist in furthering their academic pursuits.


The Black History Month celebration will conclude with the annual College Reunion on Saturday, March 3, from noon until 5 p.m. on the Parade Ground. The College Reunion is an outdoor extravaganza assigned with the goal of uniting the LSU African-American campus community, and other state and local colleges and universities in an effort to celebrate African-American heritage. The event embraces African-American culture through music, dance and spoken word performances; games and contests; and the popular Greek “Stroll-Off” competition. Although centralized around the celebration of African-American unity, College Reunion is a diverse and fun-filled program for all to enjoy.


Black History Month began as Negro History Week by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1926. The association’s founder, Carter G. Woodson, selected a week in February to honor the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976, the association, now known as the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, extended the event to a month-long celebration.


The LSU Black History Month Committee is a student-led organization sponsored by the African-American Cultural Center. The organization’s mission is to provide educational and informative programs that help celebrate the outstanding achievements and strides of African-Americans, not only during Black History Month, but throughout the entire year.


The African American-Cultural Center reports to the Office of Multicultural Affairs in the LSU Office of Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach. The mission of the African-American Cultural Center is to provide educational, cultural and social programs that acknowledge and address the needs of African and African-American students at LSU. The center hosts a variety of programs and leadership initiatives throughout the year, including the Black History Month Committee.


The following is a list of the remaining events during the LSU Black History Month celebration:


Blacks in Academia Perspectives Lecture Series
“Modernist Africana Poetry of the Americas,” by Professor Brenda Osbey
Wednesday, Feb. 8 – Noon – French House-Grand Salon


Sankofa Poetry Night
“A Night of Poetry and Love”
Thursday, Feb. 9 – 6 p.m. – LSU Student Union Magnolia Room


Blacks in Academia Perspectives Lecture Series
“Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World,” by Solimar Otero
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – Noon – French House-Grand Salon


“Black Masculinity in America: A Sideline Story”
Hosted by the LSU Black Male Leadership Initiative and Black & Proud
Wednesday, Feb. 15 – 6 p.m. – Peabody Hall Room 225


Mr. & Miss Imani Pageant – “Celebrating Black Love and Achievement”
Tuesday, Feb. 28 – 7 p.m. – LSU Student Union Ballroom


College Reunion
Saturday, March 3 – Noon-5 p.m. – LSU Parade Ground


For more information on Black History Month, the LSU Black History Month Committee or the LSU African-American Cultural Center, visit

Melissa  Foley 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2012