January 30, 2020

Why is Our Black Powerful?: Black History Month events at Goucher

Reflecting on the history while celebrating the people and culture of the Black community, Goucher students are organizing a full calendar of events this month, featuring speakers, artists, and activists.

Students are fulfilling big plans and powerful philosophy to back the question Why is Our Black Powerful?—the theme of Black History Month events at Goucher. The Black History Month Committee, consisting of students and student-led clubs, kicked off the month with the Black Xcellence poetry production that brought dance, song, poetry, and acting to the Kraushaar Auditorium stage to highlight the work of Black artists. The month continues with performances, workshops, networking events, a field trip to the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, a tribute to Black advocates, and dedicated spaces for People of Color to remember, relate, and celebrate their history and culture.

The activities are open to all students who want to openly share their upbringings, opinions, and love for Black history, says Leah Carroll ’23, who joined the Black History Month Committee because her high school never did much to celebrate. This year is going to be different for Carroll, and she’s proud to have been part of the planning that will make all of these events possible.

Why is Our Black Powerful? is not only meant to awaken a deeper pondering of the influence of history but it is also meant to help Black students come into agreement with the fact that they are powerful in who they are as Black individuals in America, and there are multiple reasons why,” Carroll says. “All of the events throughout the month will showcase both history and progress of the many successful Black women and men who have paved a path through art, science, and politics.”

Ridwan Lawal ’20, the Black History Month Committee chair, adds, “People should also understand that you are in the place you are at because of your ancestors and the systems at that time to keep them down or bring them up. For that reason we must acknowledge our history.” The theme and the month as a whole recognize the struggles and resilience of Black predecessors while also celebrating the accomplishments of People of Color across all generations. 

Shamira Morgan ’23, who has also helped plan the Black History Month events, doesn’t have to look too far into the history books to find her Black role models. Her aunt, sister, cousin, and stepmom are all business owners, and it’s these women Morgan most admires. “They just look out for one another, and it’s cool to watch them come together and uplift one another while supporting me and letting me flourish into the person I want to become,” she says. 

Highlights from the Black History Month events at Goucher include:

  • The Rosenberg Gallery exhibition Anatomy of Living Color is open through March 14. Anatomy of Living Color is a student-initiated show organized by Olivia Douglas ’21 as part of Goucher’s celebration of Black identity. The exhibition features Baltimore-based artists, including Nina Q. Allen, Christopher Batten, Markele Cullins, Walter Cruz, Rob Ferrell, and Monica Ikegwu. The opening reception is 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, in Rosenberg Gallery.
  • A repeat event from last year, Teatime, will be 7 p.m. on the Sundays of February 2, 9, and 23 in Pinkard Room, Ungar Athenaeum. Each Teatime will feature a Goucher club that supports People of Color—Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA), Goucher Women of Color Circle (GWOCC), and Goucher’s Black Student Union (Umoja). “We’re hoping to actually have tea this time,” Lawal adds.
  • Jennifer A. Ferretti, artist and art librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art, will host Researching Community History from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, in Ungar Athenaeum 326. She is a first-generation American Latina/Mestiza who is interested in the research methodologies of artists, particularly those highlighting social justice issues. In this workshop, Jennifer will review how to conduct certain types of research and discuss barriers to access, including what archives lack in terms of whose history they hold.
  • A field trip to the National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 8, is an excellent way for students to engage in their history, Lawal says. Students can sign up for the trip at Office of Student Engagement. The trip is free for students and includes transportation.
  • Two-time international Poetry Slam Champion Jamal Parker will lead a poetry workshop from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 13, in Batza Room, Ungar Athenaeum. Parker's poetry explores race, masculinity, mental health, spirituality, hip-hop, incarceration, and police brutality while also celebrating Black resilience and joy.

For a full list of Black History Month events, please visit events.goucher.edu.