Black Legacy Month to Explore ‘Contemporary Resistance’

News subtitle

The celebration of Black culture at Dartmouth starts on Jan. 31, with Speed Stories.

Black Legacy Month 22 round logo

The lineup for Black Legacy Month—a celebration and recognition of Black culture at Dartmouth—includes more than a dozen activities related to this year’s theme: Contemporary Resistance.

In light of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, the events will highlight different ways people combat oppression; how various academic disciplines are themselves interpreted as methods of resistance; and their roles in helping the entire community move forward, says Anthony Fosu ’24, co-chair of the Black Legacy Month planning committee.

“Contemporary resistance is how we move toward liberation for all people.”

As always, engagement is a priority.

“One of the things that we hope to bring to all of our Black Legacy Month experiences is a feeling of joy,” says Angela Brizant, an assistant dean in the Office of Pluralism and Leadership (OPAL). A lot of excitement goes into the planning for BLM, “and we’re also hoping that folks, whatever touchpoint they experience it from, are having fun.”

The celebrations kick off Monday at 6 p.m. with an online installation of the popular Speed Stories, in which faculty, staff, and guests share stories about their lives and values. The event featuring Shontay Delalue, senior vice president and senior diversity officer, is co-presented by the Tucker Center for Spiritual and Ethical Life and OPAL.

Among the activities scheduled throughout the month of February is Nigerian American playwright, scholar, and activist Funmilola Fagbamila’s one-woman show The Intersection, on Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., online. The characters Fagbamila portrays—an Afrocentric cultural nationalist, a radical Black feminist academic, a grassroots community organizer, and a moderate-to-liberal grounded in Christian faith—disagree on much, including how to combat anti-black state violence and advocate for a more just society. Yet, they soon discover that they need one another. The award-winning play is being co-presented by the Hopkins Center for the Arts and OPAL.

Welcome to Indian County, an evening of songs and stories offered by the Hop and OPAL, is set for Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium. A workshop and discussion with the performers will take place on Feb. 10, from 6-7:30 p.m. in Hop Garage 131. That eventContemporary Resistance in Native Artistryis being hosted by the Hop, the Native American Program, and OPAL.

The conversation on Feb. 10 will explore the intersectionality around the struggle for liberation and freedom for Native and Indigenous people and for Black people, Brizant says. “The question is, in what ways do the artists bring contemporary resistance to their work?”

The celebration will wrap up on Feb. 28 with keynote speaker Angela Davis, activist and Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. More details about Davis’ talk will be posted on the 2022 Black Legacy Month webpage.

With the kickoff just around the corner, organizers are looking forward to engaging as many members of the Dartmouth community as possible.

“We’re hoping that the lineup is exciting enough that both the in-person and virtual events will achieve high attendance,” says planning committee co-chair Ana Sumbo ’22.

At a time when the pandemic makes finding a sense of stability difficult, Fosu says, “opportunities like we have now to come together and experience and celebrate are just that much more valuable.”

See the Black Legacy Month webpage for a complete list of events and registration information. Be sure to check there for updates; events are subject to change based on COVID-19 restrictions.

Here are some highlights:

  • Speed Stories with Shontay Delalue, senior vice president and senior diversity officer. 6 p.m., Monday, Jan. 31, online.
  • Field Day. 2:45 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 6, Graham Indoor Practice Facility.
  • The Intersection, a one-woman play with Nigerian American playwright, scholar, and activist Funmilola Fagbamila. 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 9, online.
  • Contemporary Resistance in Native Artistry, a workshop and discussion with the performers from Welcome to Indian Country. Thursday Feb. 10, 6-7:30 p.m., Hop Garage 131.
  • Welcome to Indian Country, songs and stories of Native American life celebrating heritage, survival, and resilience. 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 11, Spaulding Auditorium.
  • Crown Care, co-presented by the Pi Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will demonstrate how wearing and taking care of natural hair is a form of contemporary resistance. The event is tailored specifically to members of the Black and Pan-African community. 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 12, Shabazz basement.
  • Keynote speaker Angela Davis. Friday, Feb. 28.

The Black Legacy Month 2022 co-sponsors and collaborators include the Office of Pluralism and Leadership, the Special Programming and Events Committee, Tuck School of Business, the Program in African and African American Studies, Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Black Caucus, Dartmouth Athletics, Dartmouth Conferences and Events, the Dartmouth Black Student Athlete Alliance, Pi Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the Department of Religion, the Division of Student Affairs, the Hood Museum of Art, Hopkins Center for the Arts, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, Leslie Center for the Humanities, the Office of the President, Rauner Special Collections Library, Shabazz Center for Intellectual Inquiry, South House, and the Tucker Center for Ethical and Spiritual Life.


Aimee Minbiole