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Black History Month

Please join me and the NSU Community as we celebrate Black History Month, February 2023. 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. 

This year, Norfolk State University continues its long-standing tradition of celebrating African American Heritage during February—and all year long. Under the national theme of Black Resistance, Norfolk State University students, staff and faculty have organized programs and activities that speak to African Americans’ consistent resistance against oppression, repression, terrorism, and denial of humanity. As a bastion of education, Norfolk State University prides itself in empowering our community to resist oppression and hatred of any kind towards any people. African Americans have advocated for self-sufficiency, self-reliance and active progressive change. 

This is evident in the history of NSU founded in the midst of the Depression by community educators, pastors and others. Our commitment to resisting the false narratives denying the humanity, potential, intelligence, talents, and capabilities of African Americans is evident in the many academic programs, awards, developments, contributions, publications, research, and activities of our students, faculty, staff, and administrators. Norfolk State University is an historically Black University that has provided a space and resources to support Black intelligentsia while developing activists, artists, doctors, educators, lawyers, scientists, business owners, social workers, policy makers, and community leaders. 

This February we will host weekly virtual lunch-hour talks featuring our faculty discussing various forms of Black Resistance in Music, Media, Health and STEM on Wednesdays—the first one is today, “Songs of Resistance: Music in the Struggle for Justice and Equality in America.” For the entire month, through March 10th, the James Wise Gallery presents an exhibition, “Crowns of Glory,” that examines the many ways African Americans adorn their heads through hair and other coverings. Dr. Martell Lee Teasley will visit our campus to discuss “Incorporating Black Resistance Praxis in Social Justice Work” on Tuesday, February 7th and our Center for Public Health Initiatives, along with the Center of Excellence in Minority Health Disparities, co-hosts celebrity chef, Carla Hall, to resist and close the gap on health disparities.

Every week there is quality programming for not only students, staff and faculty but for the community at large. Black History Month is every day at NSU and this year is no different. I encourage us all to continue to resist the oppression of all people through our University culture of care, academic excellence, and community commitments. Happy Black History Month! 

Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D.

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