Upperman African American Cultural Center



Africana Lecture and
Film Series
Art Exhibits Sankofa Programming
Special Events and
Signature Programs Waffles and Worship
Black Fridays Get Lit

Click here for a .pdf version of the calendar.

All events free and open to the public unless otherwise stated

August 2018

19 | Road To Sankofa 
6:15 p.m., Madeline Suites

The Road to Sankofa program welcomes you and your family to the UNCW family. This program introduces you to the Upperman African American Cultural Center and the great legacy of the African American presence at UNCW. Join members of the UNCW faculty and administration, student leaders and other distinguished guests for this important UNCW tradition.


24 | Black To The Future: Open House
11:30 a.m., Upperman Center

Spend a day in Wakanda with us as we host our annual Open House which invites all constituents into the center for an afternoon of fun, fellowship, and culture! Come meet the staff of our center as well as our organizations' student leaders to find out how you can get involved and make the most of your Wakandan UNCW experience!



24 | UNCWakanda: Mining Through The Heart of Black Panther
3:00 p.m., CIS Auditorium

After our Wakandan Open House, join us for this in-depth discussion of the thematic content of the film, Black Panther. We'll be breaking down the cultural divides between African and African-American, the portrayal of Killmonger and his ideals in a villainous light, the pros and cons of Wakanda's isolationist values, and more.

24 | Black Panther Viewing
6:00 p.m., Lumina Theater
Wrap up our Wakandan Open House Day celebrations by taking a trip with us to the Afro-futurist land itself in Marvel's record-breaking blockbuster, screened right here on campus!
31 | Intergalactic Soul
6:30 p.m., Upperman Center
The Upperman Center is proud to present the artistic visions of Marcus Kizer and Jason Woodberry: Intergalactic Soul. Intergalactic Soul is an art exhibition that brings science fiction and social awareness together as one. The artwork explores a cosmic sci-fi theme that’s driven by social, political and cultural undertones. Imagination meets consciousness to create a show with a message for all to ponder, discuss and enjoy.

September 2018

6 | UPPGrades: Money Management
12 p.m. Upperman Center

Come get an UPPGrade! Our pre-professional development programming series kicks off with a workshop on money management. You are not in Kansas anymore! Come out and learn the principles of managing your money!


13 | PTSD Among Active Duty Service Members and Veterans
6:30 p.m., Burney Center

Clinical Psychologist Dr. O’Neal Walker will give a one hour lecture on the impacts of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as recommendations for support and recovery.
Q & A and reception to follow lecture. This event is free and open to the public.
20 | BFSA Dessert and Coffee
5 p.m., Upperman Center
The Upperman African American Cultural Center, cordially invites all UNCW Black Faculty and Staff to join us in the center for a dessert and coffee mixer prior to experiencing the artistic talents of the Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble


20 | Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
7:30 p.m. Kenan Auditorium

The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (ALJE) is an octet of some of the most virtuosic musicians in jazz today. Led by Arturo O'Farrill, the ALJE is a part of The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance who are dedicated to preserving the music and heritage of Afro Latin jazz, supporting its performance for new audiences, and educating young people in the understanding and performance of this important cultural treasure. Their repertoire honors the pioneers of Latin jazz while keeping a strong foothold in progressing that music by performing contemporary compositions of the genre. The ALJE has performed internationally to critical acclaim, playing such festivals as the Cubadisco Festival (Havana, Cuba), the Luminato Festival (Toronto, Canada), Aperitivo in Concerto (Milan, Italy) and the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (Becket, MA). In collaboration with the UNCW Office of the Arts.


26 | Tarana Burke Lecture
7 p.m. Burney Center
The simple yet courageous #metoo hashtag campaign has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment – and Tarana’s powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you.

28 | Black Friday: A Taste of Ethiopia
12 p.m., Upperman Center

We're marching forward into Ethiopia as we explore the culture of Ethiopia and discuss the opportunities to study abroad as well as the benefits of studying abroad Co-sponsored by Coast 97.3 and the Office of International Programs.


30 | Waffles and Worship with Brent Campbell
12:45 p.m., Madeline Suites

Join us in this afternoon as we come together to uplift one another's spirits in fellowship. Our first speaker of the year, Brent Campbell, will be providing our souls with the Word, and afterward, stick around and continue the fellowship as we have a delicious brunch!  

October 2018

17 | UPPGrade: Dress For Success
12 p.m., Upperman Center

Present the best version of YOU for every professional setting by learning how to dress for interviews and professional events. Looking the part is one of the first steps to land that new job or to make valuable networking contacts.

18 | Step Afrika
7:30 p.m., Kenan Auditorium

Step Afrika is a dance company dedicated to the African-American tradition of “stepping.” Stepping is a rising form of art and an important part of America’s artistic and cultural heritage. In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps, and the unspoken word. The company blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African Americans fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. Performances are much more than dance shows—they integrate songs, storytelling, humor, and audience participation. The blend of technique, agility, and pure energy makes each performance unique and leaves the audience with their hearts pounding. Step Afrika promotes stepping as an educational tool for young people, focusing on teamwork, academic achievement and cross-cultural understanding. In collaboration with the UNCW Office of the Arts

26 | Music of the Mothership
12 p.m., Upperman Center 

Hop onboard the Mothership we celebrate the birthday of Bootsy Collins, and all the funkadelic music that powered the 70's! Co-sponsored by Coast 97.3

29 | Get Lit: Parable of the Sower Discussion
5:30p.m., Randall Library Auditorium

Join Upperman and the English Department as we explore Octavia Butler's work Parable of The Sower

29 | Ola Ronke Akinmowo Lecture
7 p.m., Randall Library Auditorium

Ola Ronke Akinmowo is the creartor and curator of the Free Black Women's Library, an interactive mobile library that features a collection of books written by Black women, film screenings, visual art, performance and critical conversation.

November 2018

4-10 | Wilmington 1898 Coup d'état 120th Observance
TBA., Wilmington
As we come to the 120th Memorial of the 1898 Massacre, join us throughout UNCW and the greater Wilmington Community as bring it to attention, reflect on it's impact, and imagine a reality that would exist had the events never occured
8 | UPPGrade: Ettiquette Dinner
6:30 p.m., Circa 1922
Knowing basic dining etiquette can assist you in an interview or business meeting conducted over a meal. Join the Upperman Center for an interactive workshop and dinner while we provide you with the tools necessary for proper dining etiquette and give insights and practical tips about what networking is and how to tap into the power of networking.
18 | Waffles and Worship with Candice Benbow
12:45 p.m., Madeline Suites
Join us in this afternoon as we come together to uplift one another's spirits in fellowship. Our second speaker of the year, Candice Benbow, will be providing our souls with the Word, and afterward, stick around and continue the fellowship as we have a delicious brunch!

19 | Ratchet Intellectual: Red Lip Theology
6:30 p.m., Randall Library Auditorium

Come hear Candice Benbow discuss her “Red Lip Theology." Red Lip Theology is a contemporary womanist movement developed by Candice Benbow to encourage Black women to embrace their whole selves as good creation. With central themes of beauty, faith and feminism, “Red Lip Theology” focuses on the fullness of Black women’s lives and their capacity to manifest healing and transformation.
28 | Orisa in The Ghetto
7 p.m., Lumina Theater
These series of films examines how people of the African diaspora (and specifically those who are descendants of Africans removed via the slave trade) envisioned themselves as divine. The question posed to participants who prepared for the film was, “If you were an orisa, how would you present yourself?” Asking participants to perform how they construct and imagine African gods, presents another method of understanding black representations in which the subjects — including the researcher — are producers and consumers of media.
30 | A Trip To Wondaland
12:00 p.m., Upperman Center
Janelle Monae is classy, sassy , she’ll put you in a Razzle-dazzle, and on this Black Friday Fall Finale, she’s the Birthday Girl. A Janelle Monae and Wondaland Records themed Black Friday that invites all you Electric Ladies and Classic Men to come through! Co-sponsored by Coast 97.3

December 2018

5 | 12th Annual Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration/Fall Sankofa
7:00 p.m., Burney Center
In the spirit and history of African-Americans merging West African Traditions, we've got a Upperman merger! Join us for our 12th Annual Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration and Fall Senior Sankofa ceremony! Come learn about the Ngozu Saba (7 Principles of Kwanzaa) support local student artists, paint your own adrinka symbol and celebrate our graduating African-American students!

Archived Events