Models walk in Black history month fashion show while crowd watches

Black History Month

Enlighten Our Present, Recall Our Past, Embolden Our Future

3 students smiling for the camera in front of a BSA poster board at the student clubs fair

Black History Month 2024

Belmont hosts a variety of engaging and meaningful events to celebrate Black History Month, aiming to honor the rich contributions of African Americans to our shared history and culture. This year Belmont aims to inspire and empower new generations of leaders, world changers, creatives, advocates and servants to make our world a better place. From thought-provoking discussions featuring influential speakers to vibrant cultural exhibitions showcasing the diversity and talent within the black community, Belmont's Black History Month events provide a platform for education, reflection, and celebration. View the list of our events below!

Thursday, February 1

Join us in Gallery 121 for a reception and gallery talk! Fifteen is a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Omari Booker that speaks powerfully and directly to his story of incarceration, release and perseverance. In his own words: “Fifteen is about a 15-year sentence for a non-violent drug charge. And what it meant to be a human walking through, & coming out of, such a circumstance.”

Omari is a visual artist based in Nashville and LA. While attending Belmont University, Omari studied Mathematics and other more traditional curricula before he finally focused on studio art and graphic design. He later earned his B.S. in Graphic Design from Tennessee State University.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Fifteen | Omari Booker - BruinLink (

Co-sponsored by the Cone Center for Entrepreneurship

This WellCore allows students, as well as the greater Belmont community, to learn about what it means to be in the field of entrepreneurship and to use your gifts, talents and skills to give back to various communities. This also expands the topic of the value associated with the Black dollar and investment into marginalized communities and businesses of color. Panelists include Kia Jarmon, Quincy Banks and Harry Allen.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
The Black Dollar: Black Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy - BruinLink (

Friday, February 2

Join us as we hear from Dr. D’Angelo Taylor, Belmont’s inaugural Vice President for Hope, Unity, and Belonging. In this role, he serves as the architect of the newly created HUB and leads the university’s diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives in support of its strategic emphasis to “embrace hope and inclusive excellence to reweave the social fabric.” Previously, Dr. Taylor served as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Central State University and as the Associate Director of the Multicultural Center at the University of Southern Indiana. He also served as the Vice-Chairman of the John M. Caldwell Community Development Corporation, specifically focused on youth education and development. He is a member of the board of Brothers Out Saving Souls, Inc. (BOSS), an Evansville non-profit offering programs to help youth deal with issues such as violence and challenges at home and within the public education system.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
CHAPEL: “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Embracing Belonging in Times of Uncertainty” with Dr. D’Angelo Taylor - BruinLink (

Monday, February 5

Understanding microaggressions, like refraining from touching a Black person's hair without permission, is crucial for fostering respect and inclusivity. Recognizing and addressing these subtle acts helps create a more considerate and harmonious environment, promoting understanding and equality. This conversation also revolves around the fact that black hair is more than just something stylish; it is confidence and safety, culture and innovation. Special guests include Darcie Finch, Assistant Professor in the College of Education and St. Clair Detrick-Jules, an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, author, activist, and public speaker.

St. Clair is an Afro-Caribbean artist who remains rooted in her community, with a BA from Brown University in French and Francophone Studies. She has been featured in The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, BuzzFeed News, The Christian Science Monitor, Byrdie, and NPR's Strange Fruit, among others. Her books My Beautiful Black Hair and My Hair Is Like the Sun showcase the beauty of natural Black hair. St. Clair currently resides in her hometown of Washington, DC.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
The Black Hair Symposium - BruinLink (

Adversity is guaranteed. Finding creative solutions to the problems that we face is essential. In this session, local artist Omari Booker reflects on how creating consistently may allow us to work our way into these solutions. Additionally, Omari is exhibiting recent work in Fifteen, on display in Gallery 121 from December 18 through February 16. This event is moderated by Tennessee State University Associate Professor of Sculpture Samuel Dunson.

The CPLS Invites a broad range of interdisciplinary practitioners including artists, designers, curators, educators, and historians to engage with the campus and local communities. The Watkins College of Art is committed to inviting diverse and innovative voices that propel the transformative power of art + design forward. In addition to public lectures, students benefit from personal engagement with speakers through class visits and studio critiques.

The Create Professionals Lecture Series is presented by the Watkins College of Art at Belmont University and made possible through grant funding provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
CPLS | Making the Most of It – a creative solution to adversity - BruinLink (

Wednesday, February 7

Generational wealth includes assets—things like investments, real estate, cash, and anything else that has financial value—that are passed down from one generation of a family to the next. This session dives into the conversation on both the racial wealth gap as well as tips and tricks on how to create and sustain generational wealth. Guests include Jada Hogg, the Outreach Coordinator and Student Mentor in the Multicultural Center at the University of Southern Indiana. With a double degree in Biology (Pre-Medicine), B.A. & Early Childhood Education, a master's in educational leadership, & the current pursuit of a doctorate in Educational Leadership, her professional work involves advocating and assisting students seeking to avoid and navigate through the common pitfalls of their academic journey and life by empowerment and encouragement to grow, learn, and understand their gifts and financial decisions.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Creating Generational Wealth with Jada Hogg - BruinLink (

Co-sponsored by the Office of Hope, Unity, and Belonging; the Faculty Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Committee; the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences; and the Office of Faith-Based Engagement & Church Relations

There is a great temptation to pretend that the way things are is the way God intends them to be. Dr. Jemar Tisby can help us learn the truth about our compromises with racism, so we are better able to work together to help God’s kingdom come. Dr. Tisby is the New York Times bestselling author of The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism. He has a BA from Notre Dame; M.Div. from Reformed Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in History from the Univ. of Mississippi; and is a Professor of History at Simmons College in KY. His latest book is How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice. This program is part of Belmont’s Work Well series, designed to enhance the career readiness of all students.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
CHAPEL: "Courageous Christianity" with Jemar Tisby - BruinLink (

Thursday, February 8

"King Richard," starring Will Smith, tells the inspiring true story of Richard Williams, the father and coach of Venus and Serena Williams. The film explores his relentless determination and unconventional methods in guiding his daughters from Compton to become tennis champions, emphasizing the profound impact of family support on their extraordinary journey to success.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
BSA Movie Screening: King Richard - BruinLink (

Friday, February 9

Sponsored by the MLK Committee, Real Talk is an annual event where Belmont community members can commune together, speak anonymously about hard-hitting issues without judgment. This Real Talk is specifically in conjunction with the Black History Month celebration. Led by BSA advisor and Office of Telecommunication's Gary Hunter, this is a free space for students to voice their opinions and relate to others.

Sponsored by the MLK Committee, Real Talk is an annual event where Belmont community members can commune together, speak anonymously about hard-hitting issues without judgment. This Real Talk is specifically in conjunction with the Black History Month celebration. Led by BSA advisor and Office of Telecommunication's Gary Hunter, this is a free space for students to voice their opinions and relate to others.

To secure your spot in the dining room or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Real Talk: Student Session - BruinLink (

Monday, February 12

Racial health disparities persist in America, with minority communities experiencing higher rates of diseases, limited access to quality healthcare, and disproportionate socio-economic challenges. Addressing these disparities requires a comprehensive approach that tackles systemic inequalities and promotes equitable healthcare access for all. The co-hosts of this event are Dr. Karen Lewis of the new Frist College of Medicine. and Dr. Marquinta Harvey of the Public Health Program.

Dr. Karen Lewis received her Bachelor of Arts degree in integrative studies from Clayton College and State University, her Master of Science degree in educational psychology from Georgia State University and her doctoral degree in higher education leadership and policy from Vanderbilt University. She has served as a leader in student affairs, enrollment management and diversity within the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and at Morehouse School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College, Des Moines University and Carolinas College of Health Sciences in a variety of roles. 

Marquinta Harvey, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Public Health Program. Dr. Harvey has served with over 15 years of experience ranging from biological and chemical warfare agent testing for the Department of Defense, to understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that control social stress. Dr. Harvey is a devoted public health advocate with a passion for understanding and applying information obtained from health data and research to improve processes that lead to better health outcomes for at-risk populations. Dr. Marquinta Harvey earned her Doctorate degree in Health and Human Performance from Middle Tennessee State University. She earned her Master and Undergraduate degrees from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in Behavioral Neuroscience and Microbiology, respectively.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Let’s Talk Black Health: Systemic Disparities in America - BruinLink (

Sponsored by the Office of Community Accountability

The Director and Assistant Director of Community Accountability welcomes the whole Belmont community to learn more about how the student conduct process came to be through the court case of Dixon vs. Alabama State College, where six Black men were expelled from Alabama State College for participating in a Civil rights protest. The group was not informed of the expulsion until they saw a news article about it. Through this, the student conduct process of giving students due process, access to their case information, and the right to a hearing emerged.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Dixon vs. Alabama State College - BruinLink (

Co-sponsored by Belmont Pre-Health Club, Minority Health Science Association, Public Health Student Association, Pre-Dental Club

Misdiagnosis in the African American community is a prevalent issue that leaves the majority of people a victim of unethical healthcare practices. Whether it’s chest pain, skin conditions, or a general health checkup, African Americans are not only affected by this lack of attentive treatment but continue to be a part of a conformational bias that minorities do “not feel pain.” Join us to be aware and educated about how we as future professionals can combat this dilemma. We will have a panel of esteemed African American professionals who are well-versed and adverse in this discussion at hand.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Common Misdiagnoses of African Americans in Medicine - BruinLink (

Earl Hopkins is a storyteller who has worked across several mediums throughout his journalism career. As an arts and culture reporter, Earl has won several awards for his coverage, and is also an accomplished freelance writer who has authored long-form essays and music reviews for MTV News, Complex, Stereogum,, UPROXX and other publications. Earl is a nationally featured photographer and notable public speaker, as well as an active member of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Association of Black Journalists.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
The State of Change: A Conversation with Earl Hopkins - BruinLink (

Tuesday, February 13

This event discusses the importance of voting, and how it really matters for folks in underrepresented and marginalized communities because it's their way of speaking up about the issues that directly affect them. When people in these communities cast their votes, they're making sure their voices are heard, pushing for what they need, and helping make our democracy fairer and more inclusive. The main speaker for this event will speak on the necessity of young voters in the process while also making them aware of their rights at the ballot box. We welcome special guest and state representative Justin Pearson to come and speak about its importance.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
No Vote, No Voice: Power of the Gen Z Vote - BruinLink (

Wednesday, February 14

Discussing themes of critical race theory, historical movements and the timeline of African American history, this discussion revolves around the reality, as well as the future hope, of Black history being taught in the classroom as well as outside in different arenas. The host of this event is Dr. Mona C. Ivey-Soto, an Associate Professor in the College of Education. Dr. Ivey-Soto joined the College in Fall 2015 after serving as an Assistant Professor of Education for two universities in New York. Dr. Ivey-Soto holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from New York University, an M.Ed. from Bank Street College of Education, an MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College and a Ph.D. in Special Education and Clinical Sciences from the University of Oregon.

Dr. Ivey-Soto has extensive background as a community engaged scholar in the areas of anti-racist teaching and learning in urban schools' economic inequality in communities as well asl trauma sensitive and healing centered pedagogies to address toxic stress for children and families. She received a BASIC (Belmont Accelerator for Social Innovation Collaboration) grant with colleagues in social work and community relations providing family engagement, education and the arts in the Edgehill community.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Black History 101 - BruinLink (

Thursday, February 15

A partnership with Student Success and Flourishing

As part of our annual Black History Month celebration, we are proud to host "Barbershop Talks," a unique event designed to engage and support young college-age men in our community. In collaboration with local barbers, this initiative goes beyond the traditional salon experience by providing free haircuts while fostering meaningful conversations about crucial topics related to health and well-being. With support from Student Success and Flourishing, our goal is to create a comfortable and familiar setting reminiscent of the barbershop, a space known for open dialogue. Through these discussions, we aim to address important issues impacting young men's lives and offer valuable resources.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Barbershop Talks - BruinLink (

Friday, February 16

Co-sponsored by the Department of English

Come join us for a celebration of African American Literature as we participate in the Annual National African American Read-In! Faculty and students will read from works created by African American authors, sharing the voices and experiences of black Americans. You may bring your favorites to share (reading time 2 minutes or less for the first round), or you’re welcome just to listen to a sampling of the wonderful contributions of African American poets, novelists, essayists, memoirists, and playwrights.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
The African-American Read-In - BruinLink (

Saturday, February 17

Sponsored by the Fisk-Belmont Social Justice Collaborative

This bus tour is led by David Ewing. Attorney David Steele Ewing is a ninth-generation Nashville resident and direct descendant of Prince Albert Ewing, the first African American to practice law in Tennessee and a six-time judge. In 1993, Ewing served as director of legal and government services for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. In 2004, The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce (NACC) announced the addition of Ewing to the organization’s senior management team. Ewing served on the board of over twenty different civic organizations and businesses, including Capital Bank & Trust; Summit Medical Center; Cheekwood Museum of Art; the Nashville Opera; and Middle Tennessee Boys & Girls Club. Ewing is a collector of local African American history and culture. Ewing married noted Nashville author Alice Randall. In order to participate in this bus tour, all registrants must fill out the linked insurance form as a risk management precaution.

To RSVP and secure your spot on the bus (a waiver is REQUIRED to sign up and join the tour), visit BruinLink by this link:
Social Justice Bus Tour - BruinLink (

Monday, February 19

Civil discourse is crucial, particularly among millennials and Gen Z, as it fosters a foundation for constructive dialogue and democratic engagement. In an era dominated by social media and rapid information dissemination, the ability to engage in respectful conversations becomes paramount. These generations, armed with diverse perspectives and a strong sense of social justice, play a pivotal role in shaping the future. Civil discourse not only encourages the exchange of ideas but also cultivates empathy, understanding, and tolerance. By embracing open and respectful communication, millennials and Gen Z can bridge ideological gaps, promote inclusivity, and collectively address the complex challenges that define their era, contributing to a more informed, connected, and harmonious society.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Diving into Discourse: Politics and Civility - BruinLink (

Tuesday, February 20

This conversation brings together Eric Holt, lover of music and Assistant Professor of Music Business in the Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business alongside well-known and award-winning producer Drumma Boy, providing advice, experience, and connection to Belmont students, as well as informing the Belmont community on Black music and the importance of creativity, innovation, and collaboration. Grammy Award-winning producer Drumma Boy has a decorated, multi-platinum 20-year-career, a Memphis native who has produced game-changing records with many big names in hip-hop and R&B.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
A Conversation with Drumma Boy - BruinLink (

Wednesday, February 21

Co-sponsored by the College of Music and Performing Arts, the School of Music

In 1906, Black entertainers Bert Williams, George Walker, and composer Will Marion Cook created their grandest production, Abyssinia, for New York’s Majestic Theater at Columbus Circle. In it, Williams, Walker, and Cook created the first musical production to dislocate itself from a Minstrel legacy – through language and location. The script and the music transition in and out of minstrel dialect. This disrupts audiences’ expectations of speech and humor of Black performers on the Broadway stage. The location for this show was chosen so that it would be performed adjacent to the 7th avenue and Columbus Circle, an area known as “African Broadway” because it hosted important Black composers, musician, writers, theater producers, and even the founding members of the NAACP. In Abyssinia Black and white audiences witnessed a turning point in Black musical theater. Co-Sponsor: Music and Discourse Lecture Series

This lecture is presented and hosted by Dr. Virginia Lamothe, Associate Professor of Musicology in the School of Music.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
A New Creation of Blackness on Broadway: Williams’ and Walkers’ Abyssinia - BruinLink (

Dr. Candice Storey Lee is the Vice Chancellor for Athletics and University Affairs, as well as the Athletic Director of Vanderbilt University – Vanderbilt’s first female Athletic Director and the first Black woman to head an SEC athletics program. A dynamic trailblazer, Dr. Lee will share her story of experiencing how God is building what Dr. King called “the Beloved Community.” Dr. Candice Storey Lee will speak at a community luncheon hosted at Belmont. Sponsored by: Office of Faith-Based Engagement & Church Relations

The Banker is a 2020 American period drama film directed, co-written and produced by George Nolfi. The film stars Anthony Mackie, Nicholas Hoult, Nia Long, Jessie T. Usher and Samuel L. Jackson. The story follows Joe Morris (Jackson) and Bernard Garrett (Mackie), two of the first African-American bankers in the United States.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Movie Night: The Banker - BruinLink (

Thursday, February 22

Happy Black History Month Family! It's time to get FANCY. Join BSA as we formally celebrate each other with student art, photography, and music! Light hors d'oeuvres will be provided and formal attire is required.

Monday, February 26

Co-sponsored by Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business

Join us for a captivating Q&A session with the author of “Night Train to Nashville.” Explore the untold music history of 1950s Nashville, where Gab Blackman defies norms to broadcast Black R&B nationally. Sou Bridgeforth, a cultural leader, drives change through integrated events. Immerse yourself in this transformative journey amid the Civil Rights era.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Exploring the Unifying Power of Music: A Profound Dialogue with Paula Blackman - BruinLink (

Co-sponsored by Belmont Pre-Health Club, Minority Health Science Association, Public Health Student Association, Pre-Dental Club

The viewing of “Something the Lord Made,” will be an exceptional time to witness history on screens. We will learn the story of black cardiac pioneer Vivien Thomas. Members of a plethora of health intuitive clubs on campus will come together to witness and learn such contributions and importance African-Americans make in healthcare.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
Viewing of “Something the Lord Made” - BruinLink (

Wednesday, February 28

Co-sponsored by the Office of Hope, Unity, and Belonging and the Office of Faith-Based Engagement & Church Relations

Join us as we hear from Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley, Senior Pastor of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Under his leadership, the church has grown to over 7,000 members with over 70 ministries relating to a wide range of issues including domestic violence, mentoring, and post-incarceration assistance. He led the church to purchase property adjacent to the church to preserve affordable housing in historical Old Town Alexandria. At Duke University he doubled majored in Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, but after his first year in medical school, he yielded to God’s call to attend Boston University School of Theology, where he graduated summa cum laude in Biblical Studies and African-American religious history before receiving his Doctor of Ministry degree from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary.

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
CHAPEL: Black History Month Message with Rev. Dr. Howard-John Wesley - BruinLink (

Happy Black History Month Family! Join BSA as we close out Black History Month by playing a fun round of Jeopardy with black culture-themed questions!

To RSVP or learn more, visit BruinLink by this link:
BSA x HUB Presents: Black History Jeopardy! - BruinLink (