Fordham to Host Events for Black History Month


ASILI, the Black Student Alliance, whose members are pictured above,will be hosting events for Black History Month. (Courtesy of the Ram Archives)

The start of February means the start of Black History Month, and offices such as the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer and ASILI, the black student alliance at Fordham are all preparing events for it.

ASILI has events planned throughout the month. On Feb. 13, ASILI is hosting “Caught Off Guard” in collaboration with Fordham Our Story. The event will take place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

On Feb. 21, ASILI will hold their annual Being Black at Fordham panel from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Feb. 28 they will host their Black and Gold formal from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to these events, ASILI is planning to have a speaker for Black History Month. The lecture event had to be rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts with the speaker, but according to Cameron DeChalus, FCRH ’20, president of ASILI, they are looking to reschedule later in February.

The Office of the Chief Diversity Officer is co-sponsoring the annual Black History Month lecture by Professor Saidiya Hartman from Columbia University. Hartman is a professor of English and Comparative Literature and the author of multiple books.

“In 2019 she was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, widely known as the ‘genius grant,’ for her work as a literary scholar and cultural historian,” said the description of the event.

Fordham University Department of African and African American Studies is organizing the lecture, but it is co-sponsored by the Office of Chief Diversity Officer, Department of Communication and Media Studies, Department of English, Comparative Literature Program and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.

The lecture will be on Friday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. on the 12th Floor Lounge of the Lowenstein Building at Lincoln Center Campus. The title of the lecture is “Wild Thoughts and Rumors about the Auspicious Era of Extensive Freedom, or A Speculative History of the Demise of White Supremacy.”

The lecture will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience, and the event is free and open to the public. RSVP is strongly recommended.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) and the Black History Month Committee also put together a series of events for Black History Month in collaboration with the Office of the Chief Diversity Officer and Counseling and Psychological Services.

On Feb. 4 and Feb. 5, Jazz at Noon will be held at both campuses from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

For the event, OMA will bring a jazz performer from Orlando to perform for an hour and a half in a location with a lot of foot traffic, said Lilibeth Ramos Flores, a graduate intern with OMA.

“It’s an homage to jazz music and black culture,” she said. “I think it’s a really good way to have people involved in a Black History Month event without having to sit down and go through a lecture.”

She said the event tends to connect multiple generations, from undergrad students to older staff and faculty.

Black Student Alliance (BSA) will be doing themed tabling at Lincoln Center every Thursday throughout the month of February. Also at Lincoln Center is the Black History Month Mixer on Feb. 27.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs and Counseling and Psychological services are putting on Blackademics on Feb. 24 in McGinley 236 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Supervising psychologist Ashlee Davis Ph.D. describes the event as an interactive and psychoeducation dialogue about navigating oppressive systems such as gendered racial stereotypes, imposter feelings and microaggressions within a predominantly white institution.

Flores said it is a space for people to share how they navigate these situations and how they make them feel.

“Time: The Kalief Browder Story” Screening and Special Guest will be on Feb. 28 in Bepler Commons from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This is a screening of the Netflix docuseries that shares information and the backstory of Kalief Browder.

The series provides an opportunity for an in-depth conversation about mental health and civic engagement. Akim Browder, Kalief Browder’s brother, will be coming to speak as well.

Lastly, the Love Your Hair Expo is on Feb. 29 in Bepler Commons from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

This is a first-time event at Fordham and will feature vendors and performances about natural hair and textured hair products.

“People talking about experiences having hair that is not the ‘norm’ and how that’s been a struggle or an experience for them overall,” said Flores.

She said it is a way to celebrate natural and textured hair and recognize issues with products people with natural or textured hair have faced.

Flores said that although this event is closing out Black History Month since many of these experiences are shared by women, it is an opening to Women’s History Month in March.