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Black History Month

black history month 2024 - african americans in the arts

Black History Month Overview

Origin Story

carter g woodson

Please join me and the NSU Community as we celebrate Black History Month, February 2024. In 1926, Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) first established “Negro History Week,” during the second week of February. In 1976, the first official observance of Black History Month occurred under President Gerald Ford. Whether a week or a month, the opportunity to pause, reflect, applaud, uncover, and share the many attributes, contributions, research and efforts of African Americans, and people of African descent in general is of great importance to Norfolk State University.

2024 – African Americans and the Arts

African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.

Footage from some of the Black History Month programs held at our university

ndaba nelson visits the university
Ndaba Mandela visits the university
ndaba nelson as guest speaker at the university

Ndaba Mandela learned much from his legendary grandfather, civil rights leader Nelson Mandela. The younger Mandela shared how he is continuing his grandfather’s legacy on his own terms during an appearance at Norfolk State University on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The event, which began at 5 p.m. at the L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center on the campus of Norfolk State University, served as the kickoff for NSU’s Black History Month commemoration and was free and open to the public.


Ndaba is currently the co-founder and chairman of the Mandela Institute for Humanity and co-founder and co-chairman of the Africa Rising Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting a positive image of Africa around the world and to increasing its potential for growth in the areas of education, employment and international corporate alliances for profit and partnership. Ndaba Mandela also serves as an executive director of UN AIDS.