Black History Month 2016

College of DuPage Celebrates Black History Month


In its continuous pursuit to cultivate, value, and promote an enduring diverse campus culture, College of DuPage will celebrate Black History Month in February, 2016, under the theme “Black Variations: Voice and Vision.” 

This year the College campus community will come together to affirm and celebrate the history, culture, life and unique contribution of people of African descent to the great American civilization. 

While acknowledging the horrid involuntary migration experiences of Africa’s people to the Americas, and the protracted struggle to reclaim their true humanity as recounted in historical narratives, the celebration of Black History Month also gives us cause to pause and take stock of the tremendous paths African Americans have trodden to become full citizens in a democratic society, making their mark in every facet of American institutions including business, education, entertainment, law, religion, sports, and politics. 

There is no doubt that challenges still abound as gaps exist in all dimensions of individual and group collective achievement. Throughout history, while there have been diverse expressions of demands to eliminate, close, and rectify these yawning gaps, African Americans and their leaders have consistently articulated a united voice in demanding freedom, equality, (social) justice, and inclusion in American institutions as the best means for realizing the American dream. 

The collective vision of African Americans in the 21st Century is that America will continue to embrace them as full citizens with liberty, justice, and equal opportunity to realize their full potential to contribute to building and sustaining the great American civilization.    

Come and let us celebrate together, Americans of African descent throughout the month of February 2016 at College of DuPage!


Schedule of Events

  • Freedom Rider Traveling Exhibit
    Feb. 1 to 26
    American Experience has partnered with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History to create a traveling exhibit that tells the story of the 1961 Freedom Rides. A detailed narrative of the Rides is illustrated with vivid archival photos and newspaper clippings that document this pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement.


  • Black History Month 2016 Opening Celebration
    Tuesday, Feb. 2


  • Art Exhibit
    Feb. 3 to 29
    Featuring works from three notable African-American College of DuPage Alumni


  • PBS Freedom Rider Documentary Film
    Monday, Feb. 8
    Tuesday, Feb. 9
    Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders were met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in non-violent activism.


  • Global Flicks “Life, Above All” (Drama, South Africa, 2010)
    Wednesday, Feb. 10
    Just after the death of her newly-born sister, Chanda learns of a rumor that spreads like wildfire through her small, dust-ridden village near Johannesburg. It destroys her family and forces her mother to flee. Sensing that the gossip stems from prejudice and superstition, Chanda leaves home and school in search of her mother and the truth. “Life, Above All” is an emotional drama about a young girl who fights the fear and shame that have poisoned her community. The film captures the enduring strength of loyalty and a courage powered by the heart.
    Co-sponsored by the MAC and COD Field Studies/Study Abroad/Global Education.


  • Thomas Armstrong—Author, Speaker, Freedom Rider Civil Rights Activist
    Thursday, Feb. 11
    As a student at historically black Tougaloo College from 1959 to 1963, Armstrong joined a small group of colleagues and faculty members who launched early protests for voting rights and equal public accommodations. He speaks about his experience in the early Civil Rights movement and inspires students to stand up against injustice.


  • A Taste of History: Hosted by Sodexo
    Feb. 11 and Feb. 24
    College of DuPage students can explore a diverse sampling of African-American cuisine and discover the inspirations behind the preparation of foods that have touched generations. There will also be live music to accompany the experience.

  • Music Fridays @ Noon—Free

    Larry Ward: On Bessie Smith
    , Feb. 5
    Reginald Robinson Performance and Workshop, Feb. 12
    Roots & Shoots of R&B, Tom Tallman and the COD Jazz Students, Feb. 19


  • Apollo Live at COD: Student Talent Competition
    Wednesday, Feb. 17

    McAninch Arts Center (MAC), Belushi Performance Hall
    Free Admission

    Featuring twelve talented COD students!

    Co-sponsored by the MAC and the Center for Student Diversity and Inc


  • Film Festival—Free
    Thursday, Feb. 18, Fun Movie Night in the MAC


  • Africa and Africa Diaspora Committee Film and Discussion
    “When We Were Kings” (Documentary, 1996)
    Monday, Feb. 22
    On Oct. 30, 1974, the most famous heavyweight championship boxing match of all time took place in Kinshasa, Zaire: the "Rumble in the Jungle" between champion George Foreman and challenger Muhammad Ali. In historical footage and news interviews, this documentary explores the relationship between African-Americans and the African continent during the Black Power era in terms of both popular culture and international politics, including the brutality of then-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko.
    Faculty will host a discussion after the film.


  • African-American Student Alliance (AASA)
    College of DuPage’s AASA will host three events during the month featuring:
    Panel on African-American Issues, Thursday, Feb. 4

    Demonstration for Peace, Tuesday, Feb. 16

    Poetry Slam, Thursday, Feb. 25


  • Black Student Leadership Conference—for High School Students Only
    Sponsored by the Office of Admissions and Outreach
    Tuesday, Feb. 23


  • The Annual African-American Read-In
    Sponsored by the Black Caucus of NCTE, NCTE and the Africa and African Diaspora Committee
    Wednesday, Feb. 24


  • Black History Month Closing Program—Free
    Monday, Feb. 29
    A culmination of sight, sound and taste. Featuring a live performance in the Belushi Performance Center and a free reception in the MAC lobby with great food, exhibits, memorabilia, artifacts and documents that celebrate the rich diversity of the African-American culture in history to the present.


Contact Information

Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion
Student Services Center (SSC), Room 2225E

David A. Swope Sr.
Manager, Student Diversity and Inclusion
(630) 942-2565 
FAX: (630) 942-2136
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.