‘Hope and History’ programs in February celebrate Black History Month at MSU

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

A photographic reinterpretation of Thutmose’s “Bust of Nefertiti” by Mississippi State art/photography alumnus Kamau Bostic is part of an “Imitation of Life” exhibition on display during Black History Month at Mississippi State. (Photo submitted/by Kamau Bostic)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—From art to film and writing to discourse, Mississippi State is hosting a variety of free programs in February to commemorate Black History Month.

The celebration kicks off Feb. 12 with “A Tough Row to Hoe: Black Farmers and a History of Struggle in the South,” a 3:45-5 p.m. panel discussion in Fowlkes Auditorium in Colvard Student Union.

Featured speakers include Pete Daniel, former president of the Organization of American Historians and the Southern Historical Association, and retired curator for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History; Mark Hersey, MSU associate professor of history; Shandrea D. Stallworth, an MSU plant and soil sciences doctoral student and recipient of the prestigious NASA/Mississippi Space Grant Consortium Graduate Research Fellowship; and Kymara D. Sneed, an MSU history doctoral student from Byron, Georgia. Jim Giesen, MSU associate professor of history and John Grisham Master Teacher, will serve as moderator for the program sponsored by MSU’s African American Studies program and Department of History.

Also free and open to the public, other Black History Month events include:

—Feb. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., “A Celebration of Healthy Black Relationships,” where participants can take pictures at a selfie station to celebrate black love, affection and friendship. MSU’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and the Department of Health Promotion and Wellness are hosting this event on Colvard Student Union’s first floor.

—Feb. 19, 6-7:30 p.m., a keynote presentation by Kiese Laymon, author of “Heavy: An American Memoir” and “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.” Laymon will discuss his life and work with those gathered in Turner A. Wingo Auditorium in Old Main Academic Center. The event is sponsored by the African American Studies program.

—Feb. 20, 7-9 p.m., “Imitation of Life,” a photography exhibition in which artists examine underlying social conventions and normative values, will be on display in Colvard Student Union’s second-floor art gallery. In addition to viewing reinterpretations of such classical works of Western art as Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus,” attendees can enjoy refreshments during a reception in the Union’s Old Main Lounge near the art gallery. MSU’s Society of African American Studies and African American Studies program are event sponsors.

—Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Black Faculty and Staff Mixer, a networking event sponsored by MSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion. Designed to strengthen connections among members of the Bulldog family who work on campus, the program takes place at the café inside Barnes and Noble at MSU.

—Feb. 21, 7 p.m., “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland” film screening in McCool Hall’s Taylor Auditorium. MSU’s Gender Studies program is event sponsor.

—Feb. 23, 8 p.m., “The Hate U Give” film screening in Bill R. Foster Ballroom on Colvard Student Union’s second floor. The Holmes Cultural Diversity Center is the sponsor.

For more information on Black History Month events at MSU, contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at 662-325-2033.

Learn more about MSU’s African American Studies program and the Society of African American Studies at www.aas.msstate.edu; Gender Studies program at www.genderstudies.msstate.edu; Department of Health Promotion and Wellness at www.health.msstate.edu; Department of History at www.history.msstate.edu; Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at www.oidi.msstate.edu; and Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at www.hcdc.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.