How to Celebrate Black History Month in Amherst

We are in the first week of Black History Month! The town of Amherst and the UMass community have many events you can take part in to celebrate African-Americans and their accomplishments!

Black History Month started in 1926 as Negro History Week. It was sponsered by Carter Woodson who also created the Association for the Study of African Life and History. Black History Month was founded to bring acknowledgement and pay tribute to Black accomplishments and Black lives. It is celebrated in February to align with the birthday of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Black History Month was officially recognized in 1976 by United States former President Gerald Ford.  


Every year Black History Month selects its own theme. The theme for 2019 is Black migration. Black Migrations "emphasizes the movement of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities.” The town of Amherst is celebrating this theme through a variety of events within the town and the UMass Amherst community!


Lift Every Voice and Sing Event February 3rd, 2019

        Location: Amherst Commons 

        Time: 11:00 AM

        Description: The community joins together and sings the Black national anthem while they raise the flag to honor Black History Month 


Black History Month Luncheon & Amherst Gospel Choir Performance February 20th, 2019

         Location: Amherst Survival Center 

         Time: 12:00 PM

         Description: The Amherst Choir will perform at the free luncheon to honor Black History Month


“Exhibit: Speak To Me Of Rivers” February 12th – March 1st, 2019

         Location: University Museum of Contemporary Art Room: 3

         Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM

         Description: Art exhibit, Inspired by the Langston Hughes poem “A Negro Speaks of Rivers”


“AN AMERICAN STORY: Race Amity and The Other Tradition” February 24th, 2019

          Location: Woodbury Room, Jones Library, Amherst, MA 

          Time: 2:00 PM- 4:00 PM 

          Description: Presentation of the PBS film that discusses “the perspective of The Other Tradition" in America's history 


As we approach the middle of Black History Month, make sure you take the time to appreciate the strides that have been made in the acknowledgment and celebration of the Black community through attending one (or all!) of these events! 


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