Throughout the month of February, Dartmouth will celebrate Black Legacy Month with virtual gatherings, an installation in Dartmouth Library’s Baker-Berry Library and on the Green, and nearly a dozen other events for the whole community, featuring music, storytelling, film, gameshows, and more—all aimed at showcasing the legacy that Black students, faculty, and staff have made and are making at Dartmouth.
The full schedule of events, which run from Jan. 31 through Feb. 28, is available on the Black Legacy Month webpage.
This year’s theme is “Defining a Generation: The Triumph, Power, and Legacy of Black Women,” and the final evening will feature a celebration in honor of theater trailblazer Lorna C. Hill ’73, who died last summer. Hill was one of the first Black women to graduate from Dartmouth.
“We want to highlight the power of the contributions that Black women have made to our community, because Black women have been upholding these movements for generations and generations,” often without recognition or with outright erasure, says Ana Sumbo ’22, who chairs the Black Legacy Month planning committee and is OPAL’s Black student coordinator. “We want to center Black women in this year of triumph and change and make sure to give them the recognition that is their due.”
Angela Brizant, an assistant dean in OPAL, says it’s especially important to be celebrating Black achievement and excellence in a moment “of converging pandemics”—including COVID-19 and systemic racism.
“In light of everything that’s been going on in the past year, it’s really necessary to recognize the immense contributions that Black people have made in this country and at Dartmouth,” Brizant says.
“This is a celebration of Blackness that allows the Black community to come together—and it also allows the greater Dartmouth community to understand how important it is that Black students have a space on campus to thrive and be supported,” Sumbo says.
For the full, up-to-date schedule and to register for specific events, see the Black Legacy Month 2021 webpage. Here are a few of the highlights (all times are Eastern Standard):
- Speed Stories with Associate Professor of History Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch. 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31.
- BLM 2021 Opening Event, featuring poetry, music, and more. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2.
- Smart, Funny, and Black, a head-to-head battle of wits to test participants’ knowledge of Black history, culture, and experience, featuring special guest comedian/actress/producer Amanda Seales from HBO’s Insecure. 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5.
- Film: Black Student Leaders. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18.
- Black Leadership at Dartmouth visual installation in Dartmouth Library’s Baker-Berry and on the Green, featuring Black students, staff, and faculty. Feb. 1-Feb. 28.
- Lorna C. Hill ’73 Celebration. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25.
Co-sponsors of Black Legacy Month events include the Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL); the African and African American Studies Program; Artivism; the Black Caucus; the Black Underground Theater Association (BUTA); the Dartmouth Black Student Athlete Alliance; Dartmouth Library; NAACP; the Special Programs and Events Committee (SPEC); Theta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; the Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Life; Tuck School of Business; and Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Hannah Silverstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.