University Sets Annual Black History Month Observances

Two internationally renowned educators are the keynote speakers for annual Black History Month observances at the University of Mississippi.

Tim Wise, a critically acclaimed antiracist essayist, and Joy DeGruy, a respected researcher and author, will deliver their addresses at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Ole Miss Student Union Ballroom. Admission is free, but tickets must be obtained from the Ole Miss Box Office in the Ford Center for the Performing Arts beginning Feb. 1.

“Over the years, notable African-Americans such as Cornel West, Marian Wright Edelman, Michael Eric Dyson, Myrlie Evers-Williams and Eunice Jones have been invited to provide the Black History Month keynote address,” said Alexandria White, interim director of the UM Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement. “We believe Mr. Wise and Dr. DeGruy will be equally as dynamic and that both will provide a very memorable experience for everyone in attendance.”

As the signature event of Black History Month 2019, White said she hopes that all members of the university community will take advantage of this opportunity to hear from Wise and DeGruy.

“Mr. Wise has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1,000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences and to community groups across the nation,” White said. “He has also lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda, and has trained corporate, government, law enforcement and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.”

DeGruy is an ambassador for healing and a voice for those who’ve struggled in search of the past, and continue to struggle through the present. She is the acclaimed author of “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome – America’s Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing,” “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: The Study Guide” and the upcoming “Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome Part 2: Be The Healing.”

“Through lectures, workshops, seminars and special guest appearances, Dr. Joy has shined a light on the critical issues affecting society,” White said. “Those who have experienced Dr. Joy in person can tell you that they have been stimulated, enlightened and inspired. Dr. Joy’s seminars have been lauded as the most dynamic and inspirational currently being presented on the topics of culture, race relations and contemporary social issues.”

Other scheduled activities include:

Jan. 31 – Black History Month Kick-Off Program, 4 p.m., Ole Miss Student Union Ballroom. Marcia Cole, of Oxford, is the keynote speaker, with music by the UM Gospel Choir and the presentation of the annual Lift Every Voice Awards to an individual, group or entity that has contributed to the betterment of human relationships on campus, with particular emphasis in the areas of diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion.

Feb. 8 – Black Student Union Sixth Annual Black History Month Gala, 6 p.m., The Inn at Ole Miss

Feb. 12 – Soul Food Luncheon, noon-1:30 p.m., Luckyday Residential College cafeteria

Feb. 13 – Black History Month Film, “The Hate U Give,” 8 p.m., Lamar Hall, Room 122

Feb. 20 – BarberShop Talk, 5 p.m., location TBA

Sponsors for the university’s BHM observances include the Center for Inclusion and Cross-Cultural Engagement, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Community Engagement, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, University Lecture Series, Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Career Center, University and Public Events, Department of Music, Department of Art and Art History, Oxford Film Festival, LuckyDay Scholars Program, Black Student Union, Student Activities Association, UM Chapter of the NAACP, Lambda Sigma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., and Xi Zeta Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.

For a full list of sponsors and Black History Month calendar of events, visit https://inclusion.olemiss.edu/black-history-month-2019/.


By Edwin B. Smith, University Communications 

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