MSU celebrates Black History Month with special events in February

Contact: Sam Kealhofer

Black History Month 2022 calendar graphicSTARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State is hosting a variety of programs on the Starkville campus to commemorate Black History Month, including a series of interdisciplinary conversations on race, racism and class, and a lecture by a former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP.

Today [Feb. 4] at noon in the Griffis Hall Forum Room, “Blackness Visible: A Series of Interdisciplinary Conversations on the Black Experience” is presented through a partnership between the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the African American Studies program.

“The focus of these conversations is to shed light on the complex nature of studying the Black experience, the interdisciplinary tools available to perform such work, and to present certain questions that are driving some of the scholarly discussions about the Black experience,” said Don Shaffer, MSU associate professor of English and AAS program director.

“These discussions benefit from the sponsorship of the Department of Philosophy and Religion and the African American Studies program due to the reliance and stress that faculty within these areas place upon interdisciplinary conversations in their own work. Such ‘interdisciplinarity’ has created bonds with like-minded scholars who are willing to come to this campus and share their thoughts,” Shaffer said. 

Free and open to the public, this event includes Shaffer, along with:

—Illya E. Davis, professor of philosophy and African American studies at Morehouse College.

—Stephen C. Ferguson II, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University.

—Stephen C. Finley, associate professor of religious studies and African American studies at Louisiana State University.

—Maggie Hagerman, associate professor of sociology at MSU.

—Andre Key, assistant professor of African American studies at Claflin University.

—Michael Monahan, associate professor of philosophy at the University of Memphis specializing in questions of oppression and liberation, with a particular emphasis on race and racism.

—Anthony Neal, associate professor of philosophy and religion at MSU.

The 2014-2017 president of the NAACP, Cornell William Brooks, is a special guest for The Orators Lecture Series on Feb. 21, at 4 p.m. in Colvard Student Union’s Fowlkes Auditorium. Brooks is the professor of Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. The series, begun by MSU’s Shackoul’s Honors College, invites speakers that represent various campus disciplines and topics to engage the university community in research, course work, and public forums.

The AAS program also is hosting an MLK Oratory Contest in collaboration with the MSU Speech and Debate team, with applications due Feb. 16. Preliminary competitions are held Feb. 23 in the Colvard Student Union, and finals are Feb. 25 in Dorman Hall. To apply, contact Cheryl Chambers at

Black Alumni Weekend is Feb. 17-20, with a Black Alumni Career Mixer Feb. 17, 1-4 p.m. in the Union, and the Gospel Brunch on Feb. 20, 9-10:30 a.m. at the Mill at MSU. To register, visit

Other events during the month include:

—Feb. 7, “Challenging the Myth of Racial Homogeneity among Mexicans in the U.S.” by Guadalupe Marquez-Velarde, an assistant professor of sociology at Utah State University, part of Race in America: An Interdisciplinary Lecture Series, 4 p.m., Griffis Hall, Honors Forum Room.

—Feb. 9, Snack & Chat “Health Disparities,” 2-4 p.m., Colvard Student Union, Dawg House.

—Feb. 12, “Gender, Capitalism and Slavery” by Associate Professor of History Sasha Turner of Johns Hopkins University, 4 p.m., The Mill, Ballroom C.

—Feb. 16, “The Under Development of the Needmore Community” by Jerry Boyd Jones, local artist, photographer and retired educator, 6 p.m., Old Main Academic Center, Turner A. Wingo Auditorium.

—Feb. 17, Black Faculty and Staff Social, 5:30-7 p.m., and Black Graduate Student Social, 7:30-9 p.m., Harvey’s.

—Feb. 26, Journey Through Black History Trip to Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and Jackson State University, All Day, Jackson, MS. Registration is available at

—Feb. 28, Black History Roundtable Discussion, 6 p.m., Colvard Student Union, Foster Ballroom M.

Additionally, a Black History Month exhibit in Mitchell Memorial Library is open to the public throughout the month.

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; Department of Philosophy and Religion at; Holmes Cultural Diversity Center at; and Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at

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