UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

The City of Boston and UMass Boston celebrate Black History Month


A group of friends hanging out in the open office space of the Campus Center. Photo by Caitlin Feest (She/Her) / Mass Media Contributor. 

Every year, February is marked as Black History Month to honor and celebrate the work and sacrifices made by the Black community. People across the Greater Boston Area and the United States have already begun celebrating Black History Month by organizing community events.
Crater G. Woodson, a son of of slaves, is credited with creating Black History Month. Woodson intentionally chose February for this celebration because it has the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, who was a slave.
The City of Boston and the Mayor’s Office of Equity and Inclusion featured some of the events lined up for the rest of the month to mark the celebration. On Feb. 9, Mayor Michelle Wu’s Office of Civic Organizing and Office of Black Male Advancement hosted a virtual panel event that featured some of the esteemed Black male leaders in the field of politics and business to discuss the work in advancing Black History in Boston.
A Sankofa Night was also organized on Feb. 9 in Roxbury to celebrate the Black diaspora. According to an informational page posted by Stockton University, “Sankofa is a phrase that encourages learning from the past to inform the future, reaching back to move forward, and lifting as we climb.” It was a night filled with music, dance performances and a display of art and poetry.
Feb. 28 will mark the closing of Black History Month. To appreciate and recognize the accomplishments of the community members throughout the years, an “All Black Everything” event will be held at the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Roxbury. Community members will get together for this final event and close the month-long celebration of Black History and the Black diaspora.
UMass Boston annually marks Black History Month by hosting several events. One of the events UMass Boston has planned for this month includes a virtual presentation on the History of Black Sporting Resistance by Dr. Joseph N. Cooper, who is the special assistant to the Chancellor for Black Life. This event is on Feb. 15 from noon to 1 p.m. In addition, a Black Life Community Gathering is planned for Feb. 22 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Integrated Science Complex, Room 1400C.
The Applied Ethics Center at UMass Boston is organizing an open poster design contest titled, “In Her Name Project.” This poster design contest honors the life and work of Phillis Wheatley Peters, and participants are required to draw a monument that represents her historical or contemporary form. The contest is open from Dec. 1, 2022 to March 15, 2023. Designs may be brought to the Philosophy Department on the fifth floor of Wheatley Hall, Room 00017, or emailed to [email protected]. There will be prizes given to the best designs.
Chancellor Marcelo Suárez-Orozco sent a letter to the UMass Boston community, emphasizing the importance of this month and acknowledging the work of UMass Boston Black alums who have made meaningful contributions to the communities and the world.
“For decades, Black History Month has been a platform for prying open more doors and engaging more people in the unfinished business of social change to make our nation fairer, more equitable, and more just,” said Marcelo Suárez-Orozco in his letter.
When asked about the importance of Black History Month, Dr. Cooper also made a brief remark through an email. “Black History Month is important because Black people have made invaluable contributions to the United States (U.S.) and the world. From politics to law to music to sports to social sciences to health sciences to technology to various arenas, Black people have utilized their talents and resources to advance humanity and improve the environment.”
Cooper also emphasized that the Black community has overcome many great challenges, so their achievements and journeys are celebrated all year long. “Black Lives Matter Today, In the Past, and Forever!” Cooper wrote.
1.     https://www.boston.gov/equity-and-inclusion/black-history-month
2.     https://www.umb.edu/the_university/chancellor/communications/celebrating_black_history_month_2023
3. https://www.stockton.edu/sankofa/about.html

About the Contributor
Kaushar Barejiya, News Editor