SMCC celebrates Black History Month

SMCC is paying tribute to Black History Month with a series of community forums, movies and other events to honor the contributions and sacrifices of Black Americans who have helped shape our country.

Black History Month is held each February to recognize African Americans’ central role in the history of the United States. Its origins go back to 1915, and every U.S. president since 1976 has officially designated February as Black History Month.

At SMCC, Political Science Professor Julie Mueller and others in the Social Sciences Department created a website with links to resources celebrating and giving historical context to the history of Black people in America, with a special emphasis on Maine. Student Activities and the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee have also planned a series of events and activities that run through the end of the month.

“While every month in America should be Black History Month, I believe it is important that we take time to learn, honor, and understand the experiences and contributions of Black Americans in our country,” said Tori Penney, Student Activities Coordinator and chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “As an institution we are committed to serving our diverse community by celebrating our differences, overcoming systemic barriers to opportunity and prosperity, and further dismantling racism. Education is a cornerstone in that process.”

Student Activities has already held hosted several movies via Zoom as part of its Black History Month Watch Party series. More movies and events are on tap for the rest of the month.

Black History Month Watch Party Series via Zoom. Participants must have Hulu, Disney+, or Netflix (as relates to each title) and install the Teleparty Google Chrome Extension to join. Join us on Zoom for introductions, the watch link, and technical assistance before the movie. Movie will start at ten minutes past.

• Wednesday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m., The Butler, Netflix
• Monday, Feb. 14, 8 p.m., Hidden Figures, Disney+
• Wednesday, Feb. 16, 8 p.m., Marshall, Netflix
• Thursday, Feb. 17, 8 p.m., I Am Not Your Negro, Disney+
• Tuesday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m., Get Out, Hulu
• Thursday, Feb. 24, 8 p.m., The Hat U Give, Hulu

Other events include:

• Friday, Feb. 11, 12:15 p.m., via Zoom. Diversity and Community at SMCC: Campus Forum. The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will host a forum to hear ideas and thoughts from students, faculty and staff on how the College can create and build community and diversity initiatives that we can include as we create a Diversity and Equity Strategic Plan.
• Monday, Feb. 14, 12 p.m. via Zoom. Reading and discussion of “The Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The open letter was written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 following his arrest as a participant in nonviolent demonstrations against segregation.
• Thursday, Feb. 17, 12 p.m., via Zoom. What are Microagressions? Join us for an open discussion about microaggressions — everyday actions that contribute to a hostile and unwelcoming environment, especially for people with marginalized backgrounds and identities — their impacts and how to respond when you witness them.
• Wednesday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m. via Zoom. Black History Month Trivia. Join in for a trivia session on Black History Month and the stories and accomplishment of Black leaders.
• Thursday, Feb. 24, 12 p.m. via Zoom. Looking Deeper than Nonviolence: What would Dr. King tell us today? Join us in reviewing some of Dr. King’s work and discuss how we can apply his teachings — not just nonviolence, but how to build a better world — in today’s society.