EMCC celebrates Black History Month with signature events

February 01, 2019

Black History Month is observed every February. The holiday, which celebrates the achievement of African Americans, was first celebrated in 1926, but the wheels began turning 11 years earlier when Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the Rev. Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The group, which is known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), sponsored the first Negro History Week in February 1926.

The celebration, which took place over the week that encompassed the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, served as a catalyst for celebrations nationwide, the establishment of history clubs, and performances and lectures.

By 1950, mayors all over the country had issued proclamations declaring the week Negro History Week, and by the late 1960s, the event had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses.

Negro History Week was expanded and renamed to Black History Month in 1976, when President Gerald Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Since then, every U.S. president has designated February Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme.

The theme for 2019, “Black Migrations,” emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations. The theme focuses on the 20th Century when they moved from southern farms to southern cities; from the South to the Northeast, Midwest, and West; from the Caribbean to U.S. cities and migrant labor farms; as well as the emigration of noted African Americans to Africa and European cities, such as Paris and London, after the end of World War I and II.

Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC), 3000 N. Dysart Road in Avondale, is honored to celebrate Black History Month with the following events:

Community Wide Black History Celebration

When: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 9

Where: Ceremonial Plaza and Image Zone

The theme is “Being strong while at the center of change.” This annual event is a collaboration with the Southwest and Northwest Black History Committee, the city of Avondale, and Estrella Mountain International Education and Estrella Mountain MCBAAA. Each year, the community comes out and celebrates the contributions that African Americans have made to the American culture and to the world.

This all-day event is free and open to the entire community. The event will feature vendors, entertainment, and performances of various genres of music including jazz, gospel, soul, rhythm and blues, and hip hop.

For more information, email [email protected]

MLK Luncheon @ EMCC

When: Noon to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: Estrella Conference Center

This event will celebrate the life and legacy of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggles, sacrifices, and achievements won to incite social change, equality, and justice.

The lunch will be catered by Rudy's “Country Store” and Bar-B-Q. It is free and open to all students, staff, faculty, and the community, by RSVP to [email protected].

Workshop on Trauma in the Black Community

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 25

Where: Estrella Conference Center

For more information, email [email protected]

To see all the Black History Month activities and events across the Maricopa Community Colleges, visit https://events.maricopa.edu/event/black-history-month-2019