THIBODAUX, La. — Nicholls’ Black History Month draws upon the 150th anniversary of several landmarks, including women’s suffrage and the right to vote for black men.
This year’s theme is “Lift Every Voice and Vote.” Events throughout the month will examine the ongoing struggle for black men and women to vote. The month will also highlight advances, prominent people and fighting for equality.
Black History Month is an annual celebration during February of people of African descent in the United States and Canada.
During the month, Nicholls will feature athlete spotlights at basketball games, themed cuisine in Galliano Hall, concerts, panels, open-mic events, book displays at the library and parties.
The celebration will begin on Jan. 31 with the musical, “The Color Purple.” Based on the book by Alice Walker, “The Color Purple” follows several black women in the early 1900s as they navigate an often brutal society. Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 2.
The official kick-off event, set for 10:45 Monday, Feb. 3 in the LeBijou Theatre, is the panel “Black Voices Amplified: The Importance of Communicating Our Ideas, Stories, and Perspectives Throughout the Community.” Community leaders will address successes, contributions, challenges and where we go from here.
Panelists are moderator Richard Adams, Louisiana Senator Edward J. Price, Thibodaux councilwoman Constance Johnson, retired NFL player Clarence Verdin, Lafourche Parish School Board member Cheryl Thomas, former Pine Bluff Superintendent Dr. Michael Robinson and Nicholls Director of Human Resources Steven Kenney Jr.
The month includes several key events:
Feb. 7 will feature the 10th annual “A Celebration of the Negro Spiritual.” The Nicholls choir and special guests will feature historical songs sung by slaves and plantation workers. The event is at 7 p.m. in the Danos Theater.
Cuban pianist and Alabama State University Professor Dr. Adonis Gonzalez will perform as part of Beethoven’s 250. The Department of Music will host the birthday celebration on 7:30 p.m., Feb. 8 in the Danos Theater.
“Lift Every Voice: A Panel Discussion About the Importance of Diversity in Media Employment and News Coverage” will be at noon on Feb. 11 in the Bollinger Suites.
Also on Feb. 11, The Black Student Union will give students, faculty and staff a platform to talk about the Black Experience at 6 p.m. in the Peltier Auditorium.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, Sgt. Renee Brinkley, Dr. David Whitney and Captain Cortrell Davis will present at noon in the Bollinger Suites. The panel will promote a diverse set of ideas about politics, civil rights, voting and the criminal justice system.
The Nicholls NAACP Student Chapter will present a night on Feb. 27 aimed to honor the ones that helped influence the Black legacy and culture today. The event is at 6 p.m. in the Peltier Auditorium.
For more information and other events, visit www.nicholls.edu/black-history-month/