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MSU commemorates Black History Month with a variety of February events

Contact: Landon Gibson

STARKVILLE, Miss.—In honor of Black History Month, Mississippi State is presenting a variety of free events on the Starkville campus throughout February, including a Black history exhibit in the Old Main Academic Center’s Louis Burns Brock, Jay Brock and Hank Brock Gallery.

Sponsored by MSU’s African American Studies program and University Archives, the exhibit titled “Nothing New Under the Sun: The History of Black Students at MSU” highlights the university’s Black activism and student life since Dr. Richard Holmes became the first Black student to enroll in the summer of 1965. The month-long showcase depicts the role of Black students on campus and their historical push for institutional change and acceptance.

“Through images and documents from the Afro-American Plus Collection, the papers of Presidents Giles and McComas, and images contributed by the Society of African American Studies and Greek organizations, this exhibit shows the powerful history of Black student leadership on campus. In addition, it highlights recent work done by Black students to change the state flag in 2016, student participation in recent Black Lives Matter peaceful protests, and voter registration campaigns,” said Jessica Perkins Smith, assistant professor for MSU Libraries.

For a comprehensive list of all Black History Month events at MSU, view the schedule of events here or contact the Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at 662-325-2033 for more information. Some highlighted upcoming events include:

—Feb. 2, 6 p.m., MSU Barnes and Noble, “Black History Trivia Night.” Sponsored by Student Activities, Presidents Commission on the Status of Minorities and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., attendees will be able to answer trivia questions in order to win prizes.

—Feb. 5, 11 a.m-1 p.m., Drill Field, “Wear Red Day and National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.” Sponsored by Health Promotion and Wellness, students are encouraged to wear the color red.

—Feb. 10, 6 p.m., Taylor Auditorium at 124 McCool Hall, “Black and Blue.” Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hosts a panel of open discussion with local and regional law enforcement.

—Feb. 15, throughout the day, Virtual panel discussions will be held and can be viewed on the African American Studies website and MSU TV. Follow @msu_aas. Topics include “I Can’t Breathe: Teaching Black History and Anti-Racism Post George Floyd,” “From Gospel to HipHop: A Conversation on Intersections and Impact of Black Music,” “Black in the Ivory,” and “Black in the Military.”

—Feb. 17, 6:30 p.m., MSU’s Gender Studies and African American Studies programs virtually host “What Hood Feminists Want You to Know: An Evening with Mikki Kendall.” Kendall authored the New York Times bestseller “Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that a Movement Forgot,” which Time magazine listed in their top 100 must-read books of 2020. Additionally, author Ibram X. Kendi rated the work as one of the 10 best political books by Black women in 2020 for The Atlantic. Online registration is available at

—Feb. 20, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., McCool Hall, “A Seat at the Table” conference sponsored by the Student Association is designed to equip minority students with the skills and confidence to get involved and become campus-wide leaders. Students will gain new skills while networking with other students and professionals. Beginning with a main keynote session followed by a variety of breakout sessions, students can engage in activities centered around diversity and inclusion, professional development and community engagement. Registration is available on Cowbell Connect.

—Feb. 24, 3 p.m., MSU TV live stream, Black History Month Keynote: Kiese Laymon. Laymon will discuss his new edition of “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America,” with additional comments from Rhodes Scholar Field Brown. A question-and-answer session will follow.

—Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Bettersworth Auditorium at Lee Hall, “A Walk-Through Mississippi Showcase” presented by MSU’s Holmes Cultural Diversity Center. This showcase will take attendees for a “walk” through Mississippi for a cultural extravaganza highlighting forms of Black art including spoken word, monologues, dance and song while honoring the history of African Americans in Mississippi.

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