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A&S Marks Black History Month

By Ryan Girves

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2023) — In celebrating Black History Month, the University of Kentucky will host events on campus throughout February.

"Black History Month is a time to publicly honor the invaluable contributions of Black Americans. It is also a special time for each of us to focus on and challenge ourselves to growing our own Cultural Intelligence (CQ) — awareness, knowledge and action — toward bona fide inclusion," said Katrice Albert, UK vice president for institutional diversity. "For our campus, Black History Month is yet another opportunity to highlight and celebrate the remarkable people who help us fulfill our promise as Kentucky’s university."

Events include the following in the College of Arts & Sciences:

  • "Phillis Wheatley at 250: The Pasts and Futures of Reading and Writing #BlackJoy"

    3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, Grand Courtroom, J. David Rosenberg College of Law.

    Tara A. Bynum (University of Iowa), Brigitte Nicole Fielder (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Cassander L. Smith (The University of Alabama) considers the legacy of Phillis Wheatley, the first Black woman to publish in the United States. Celebrating the 250 year anniversary of Wheatley’s poems, Bynum ("Reading Pleasures: Everyday Black Living in Early America"), Fielder ("Relative Races: Genealogies of Interracial Kinship in Nineteenth-Century America") and Smith ("Black Africans in the British Imagination: English Narratives of the Early Atlantic") also explore what her history means for the future of African American and American studies. Co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies.

  • "Political Black Girl Magic: The Elections and Governance of Black Female Mayors"

    3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9, and 12:40 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, Alumni Gallery, William T. Young Library.

    Sharon Austin, professor of political science at the University of Florida, will give a lecture on voting rights. Co-sponsored by the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies.

  • “We, Too, Were Here!” with Sharyn Mitchell

    3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 | UK Athletics Auditorium, William T. Young Library

    Guest speaker Sharyn Mitchell will discuss how archives and historical repositories have been silent or silenced by omission or commission and fail to speak of the presence, accomplishments and contributions Black Americans have made to  Kentucky history. Mitchell believes there are two sides to every story and that from an African proverb we learn that until the lion tells her story, the hunter always wins. Co-sponsored by the UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies program, Department of African American and Africana Studies, the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies and UK Libraries.

To further commemorate Black History Month, throughout February, UK’s social media channels will feature Black students, faculty, staff and alumni who have shared their stories of what Black History Month means to them and why it is important. Follow along on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and on digital signage across campus.

For more information on the university's diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, visit the DEI website. The DEI website is home to information about DEI-related resources available to faculty, staff and students; events and organizations; news and campus messages; and updates on DEI efforts around campus.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $501 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.