Black History Month celebrates rich heritage

Ladysmith Black Mambazo

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements and culture of African-Americans.

“The significance of Black History Month is to allow communities to reflect and celebrate this history of black Americans, their contributions and their sacrifices,” said Jamie Patton, adviser to NAU’s Black Student Union, a campus organization involved in the month’s events. “It is also significant because it allows us—all Americans—to discuss modern day injustices and how we can overcome them.”

In 1976 this month was chosen because it encompasses the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass, a prominent figure in African-American history, and Abraham Lincoln. It is an extension of a weeklong celebration of African-American heritage that had existed since the 1920’s.

This year’s theme, “Voices from the African Diaspora,” is reflected through an array of educational, entertaining and interactive events. Each event is meant to educate participants on many topics related to African Americans and inspire them to embrace the challenges of the future ahead.

“I hope that NAU students, faculty and staff who attend these events continue to think intensively and critically about everyday injustices and speak up, knowing that we can make a difference,” Patton said.

Black Cuisine at the Hot Spot
The Hot Spot, University Union
Taste the delights of Southern Soul, Cajun Creole, African and Caribbean recipes.

Being Black and a Professional Athlete
5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5
du Bois Center, Agassiz Room
A panel of African American professional athletes shares experiences and answers audience questions.

Flagstaff Black History Month Program
6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7
Cogdill Recreation Center, 301 S. Paseo del Flag
Sponsored by Flagstaff Parks and Recreation Division

Poetry Slam
6-8 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11
Murdoch Community Center, 203 E. Brannen
Open to the public and co-sponsored by the Flagstaff NAACP.

Hip Hop Symposium
2:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12
SBS West 109
Presented by Thabiti Lewis and Kenneth Onnaouwi. Contact Tara Green at for information.

Byron Hurt presents “Beyond Beats and Rhymes”
7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21
Cline Library Assembly Hall
A “hip-hop head” weighs in on manhood in hip-hop culture. Sponsored by NAU’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo
8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22
Prochnow Auditorium
Ladysmith Black Mambazo represents the traditional culture of South Africa and is regarded as the country’s cultural emissary at home and around the world. Tickets are $32.50 at the Central Ticketing Office, University Union. Call (928) 523-5661 for information. Sponsored by SUN Entertainment.

Apollo Night
7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29
Cline Library Assembly Hall
Talent show sponsored by the Black Student Union

Black History Month Closing Reception
6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25
University Union, Grand Canyon Room
Sponsored by the Multicultural Student Center

For information, go to