Black History Month


Highlighting Oregon’s Black Leadership Gains During Black History Month 2020
by Dr. Yvette Alex-Assensoh, Vice President for the Division of Equity and Inclusion

2020 is a pivotal year. Not only are we gearing up for the November General Election, but this year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. As a result, there is a particularly bright spotlight on the issue of leadership. During the month of February, that spotlight specifically turns to Black leadership. Read more...

2020 Black History Month Events 


    FEB 3, 2020

    Soul2Soul Networking Night

    6 - 8 PM | Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center

    Join us for the first Black History Month mixer to be held at the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center. Students, faculty, and staff members are invited to help us launch a new tradition—our inaugural meet-and-greet to kick off a month of speakers and events. Refreshments will be served. RSVP

    Feb 4, 2020

    Beyond Buzzwords: Ruha Benjamin

    7:30pm | First Methodist Church

    Feb 5, 2020

    Debra Thompson

    Return: Race, Democracy, and the Boundaires of Belonging in North America | Ideas on Tap: The Museu of Natural and Cultural History's monthly pub talk 

    6pm | Viking Braggot Co. Southtowne


    feb 7, 2020

    Blacks in Government

    The Honoroable Megistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai | "Equity & Privilege: Friends or Foes?"

    Social: 5:30 - 6:30pm | Banquet 7 - 8:30pm | Graduate Eugene Hotel

    Call 541.852.9782 for tickets

    FEB 10, 2020

    Guy-Uriel Charles | DERRICK BELL LECTURE 2020, School of Law

    Pre-Lecture Reception - 4:30pm | Lecture 5:30pm | Law School Room 175 | RSVP 

    feb 19, 2020

    The State of Blackness at UO

    5:30 - 7:30pm | Black Cultural Center | Sponsored by the Black Cultural Center & Black Studies

    feb 20, 2020

    Being Black and in a Labor Union

    3 - 5pm | Black Cultural Center | Sponsored by the Labor & Education Research Center

    Feb 20, 2020

    The Civil Rights Movement & the Notion of Turn the Other Cheek

    6 - 7:30pm | Black Cultural Center | Sponsored by The Koinonia Center and the NAACP 

    feb 21, 2020

    Eugene - Springfield NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner

    6 - 9pm | Valley River Inn

    FEB 27 - 28, 2020

    Black History Month Games

    Men's Game | FEB 27 | 8pm | Matthew Knight Arena

    Women's Game | FEB 28 | 8pm | Matthew Knight Arena

    Sponsored by BEOREGON

    FEB 29, 2020

    Black Law Students Association History Month Banquet

    6pm | Ford Alumni Ballroom

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, occurs every February. It celebrates the achievements by black Americans and recognizes the central role of African Americans in the U.S.

Black History Month originated as Negro History Week. It was conceived by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), the organization he founded. Woodson and the ASNLH hoped to raise awareness of African American contributions to civilization. They began visualizing the idea in 1925 and the first celebration was in February 1926, a week that had the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They were met with overwhelming positive response. By the mid-20th century, many city mayors across the U.S. issued proclamations celebrating the week.

In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month. President Gerald R. 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 each American president has issued African American History Month proclamations. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The original association that created Negro History Week, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), continues to promote the study of Black history all year.

The University of Oregon celebrates Black History Month each year with a wide variety of events that celebrate, honor and highlight the work and culture of black Americans.


2019 Black History Month Poster

Black History Events 2019

  • Soul Themed Karaoke Night
  • Black Mental Health on College Campuses
  • Erica Edwards, Black Feminist Studies Speaker Series
  • Douglas Day 2019
  • "The Cradle of Hope: African Americas, Haitian Sovereignty, and the Birth of Black Internationalism" with Leslie Alexander
  • 2019 Freedom Fund Dinner
  • Peacejam Northwest with Leymah Gbowee
  • Black Excellence Gala
  • "Affirmative Action Chronicles: From the Era of Colorblindness to White Nationalism" with Cheryl Harris
  • "Why Aren't There More Black People in Oregon?: A Hidden History" with Walidah Imarisha
  • Black History Month Banquet

2018 Black History Month Poster

Black History Events 2018

  • Claude Steele "The Science of Diverse Community.
  • Talk and Reception with Sam Bailey of "Brown Girls"
  • Pioneering a Living Legacy: Shaping Our Vision for Diversity and Inclusion in the Labor Movement
  • Black History Month Banquet
  • Derrick Bell Lecture: jonathan a. powell - "Looking Up From the Bottom of the Well"
  • Andre Djiffack: "Teaching in Mongo Beti"
  • Marshall (Thurgood Marshall Film)
  • Freedom Fund Dinner: NAACP
  • Black Excellence Gala: Black Student Union
  • Bill Fletcher: "Race and Labor: Building a More Just Economy
  • Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa: "Scenes from One Wall a Web"
  • "Don't Touch My Hair" Opening Reception and Exhibit
  • Talking Black in America