SRU’s Black History Month celebration features more than two dozen events


Black History Month events start Fedruary 1

Slippery Rock University will celebrate Black History Month throughout February with an array of discussions, performances, guest speakers and other events to recognize African American culture.

Jan. 21, 2020

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Cooperation and collaboration are at the forefront of Slippery Rock University's Black History Month celebration as a wide variety faculty, staff and student clubs and organizations come together to host discussions, performances, guest speakers and other events to recognize African American culture. The theme for the celebration is "Act Now, Join the Movement."

"Our students are really driven to showcase diversity and inclusion in as many ways as possible," said Keshia Booker, assistant director for multicultural development in SRU's Office of Inclusive Excellence. "They are committed to ensuring that they have opportunities to share their heritage, and the planned events during February provide a unique look at all aspects of African American culture."

SRU's Black History Month is coordinated by the OIE, which is also cohosting some of the events, but the logistics were the work of student clubs and organizations, organizers say.

"It shows what the students are interested in and where they are in their own understanding of African American culture and how they'd like to see themselves move forward," Booker said. "Sometimes people zero in on certain aspects of culture that might perpetuate stereotypes, but having such varied programming throughout the month gives the University community opportunities to explore different customs and traditions."

SRU's Black History Month events include:
Cirque Zuma Zuma, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 1, Smith Student Center Ballroom: This SRU Performing Arts & Lecture Series event features African dance, acrobatics, tumbling and live music in what has been called an African-style Cirque due Soleil. Click here for ticket information.
"A Sin of Omission," 6 p.m., Feb. 3, Martha Gault Art Gallery: An opening reception for the work of Pierre Bowins that highlights the Black American diaspora missing in the history of graphic design. The exhibit runs through Feb. 27.
Black History Month Kickoff, 12:30 p.m., Feb. 4, SSC Ballroom: Hosted by OIE with refreshments, music, artwork and other entertainment.
"Wild 'n' Out" comedy show, 7 p.m., Feb. 5, SSC Ballroom: Hosted by Black Action Society.
Our Shared Shelf: "The Pretty One," 6 p.m., Feb. 5, SSC Women's Center lounge: A book club-style discussion of "The Pretty One," hosted by the Women's Center and Pride Center.
Rock the Vote, 5 p.m., Feb. 6, SSC Theater: A voter registration event hosted by the OIE and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Chapter at SRU.
"Brian Banks" movie and discussion, 4 p.m., Feb. 7, SSC Theatre: Hosted by the OIE and Slippery Rock Student Government Association.
SRU Dance Theatre Winter Dance Concert, "State of Being," 2 p.m., 6:30 p.m., Feb. 9, Succop Theater at Butler County Community College.
Black History Month Keynote Speaker: Yusef Salaam, 7 p.m., Feb. 10, SSC Ballroom: Hosted by the Black History Month Speaker Committee and featuring a member of the Central Park Five, a group of five men who were wrongly convicted of the 1989 assault and rape of a woman in New York City.
"Beyond the Bus: The Lifelong Activism of Rosa Parks," 12:30 p.m., Feb. 11, Spotts World Culture Building, Room 210: A discussion hosted by Phi Alpha Theta, the Gender Studies Club and the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at SRU.
"What is Black Love?," 5 p.m., Feb. 11, SSC, Room 319: A discussion about African American relationships hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
NAACP Founders Day Celebration, 5 p.m., Feb. 12, SSC, Room 319: Hosted by the NAACP Chapter at SRU.
Frederick Douglass Institute Discussion Series, 12:30 p.m., Feb. 13, SSC, Room 321: Hosted by the FDI with information about receiving FDI grants.
"Cuts and Convos: A Barbershop Experience," 3:30-7 p.m., Feb. 13, SSC, Ballroom B/C: Free haircuts and refreshments hosted by KINGS Org.
Paint and Sip, 7 p.m., Feb. 13, SSC, Ballroom A: Hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity with painting and refreshments.
Steel City Step Show, 4:30 p.m., Feb. 15: The National Pan-Hellenic Council at SRU is sponsoring a bus trip to the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh for a night of stepping, a dance style rooted in Black history.
"Am I Still Black If?," 5 p.m., Feb. 17, Vincent Science Center, Room 116: A discussion about African American stereotypes hosted by BAS.
"An Evening with Soledad O'Brien: Her Life Stories," 7:30 p.m., Feb. 18, SSC Ballroom: A free SRU Performing Arts & Lecture Series event featuring O'Brien, an award-winning journalist, entrepreneur and host of the weekly syndicated political show "Matter of Fact."
"Before the Central Park 5, the Scottsboro 9," 12:30 p.m., Feb. 20, Eisenberg Classroom Building, Room 111: A discussion hosted by the History Department about nine African American teenagers accused of rape in Alabama in 1931.
"Rock Talk: Men of Color in Today's America," 6 p.m., Feb. 20, SSC Theater: A discussion hosted by the Women's Center & Pride Center.
"My Name Isn't," 5:30 p.m., Feb. 20, SSC, Room 321: A discussion hosted by QUEENS Org. about stereotypes of African American women.
Sunday Service, 5 p.m., Feb. 23, Advanced Technology and Science Hall, Room 142: A worship service hosted by the Chosen Generation Gospel Choir.
"Securing the Bag," time TBA, Feb. 25, SSC, Ballroom A: An entrepreneurial fair hosted by the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity with information about five African American-owned businesses.
Black Queen, time TBA, Feb. 26, VSC, Room 102: A discussion hosted by QUEENS Org.
Ebony Ball, 6 p.m., Feb. 27, SSC, Ballroom: Dinner, dancing and an awards ceremony hosted by BAS.
• BAS departs for cultural immersion trip to Atlanta, Feb. 28.

All Black History Month events hosted at SRU are handicapped-accessible and sign language interpreters are available upon request by contacting Booker at 724.738.4440. For more information about Black History Month events, contact the OIE at 724.738.2700 or

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |