Upperman African American Cultural Center Offers Numerous Events Celebrating Black History

Thursday, February 04, 2021

UNCW’s Upperman African American Cultural Center is offering a full calendar of events celebrating the legacies and histories of African descendants in America in observance of Black History Month.

“From anti-racism staff and faculty trainings to socially distant outings, there is something for everyone in this year’s Black History Month,” said Sean Palmer, executive director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center. “The university is engaged in creating innovative programming to highlight the contribution of people of African descent even as we make adjustments due to the pandemic.”

The public will have the opportunity to participate in virtual African American read-ins that are being held at DC Virgo and UNCW’s Randall Library. Other events include “BOOKed and Busy Black Cultural Center Reading Circle,” with the reading of Fire This Time by Jesmyn Ward; the viewing of “Ethnic Notions” by Marlon Riggs, a documentary tracing the evolution of the deeply rooted racial stereotypes which fueled anti-black prejudice; and “Lifting As We Climb,” a virtual panel discussion on the triumphs and challenges of black women and women of color in the helping professions.

Bakari Kitwana, a premier hip hop scholar, is the keynote speaker. This year’s observance celebrates the Black family and the evolution of hip hop. Kitwana is the author of The Hip Hop Generation, Why White Kids Love Hip Hop, Sweat the Technique and The Rap on Gangsta Rap! The month-long event concludes with the celebration of the 51st anniversary of the Black Student Union.

“One of the amazing things about this year’s celebration is that you can access our events from the comfort of your home via Zoom, Facebook and Spotify,” said Palmer. “ I encourage everyone to join us at UNCW for a month that is sure to be beautiful, bold, brilliant and Black!”

Visit Upperman Center’s Black History Month website for a full list of events and to register. For more information, contact the Upperman Center at

--Venita Jenkins