KNOXVILLE, TN (February 2021) – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s annual celebration of Black History Month kicks with many events planned throughout February with events both virtually and in person. The month will include film screenings, the 16th annual Black Issues Conference, art showcases, and more.
The lineup of events will be hosted by departments and student organizations from across campus including the Office of Multicultural Student Life, UT’s NAACP chapter, the Black Cultural Programming Committee, Diversity Educators, the Programs Abroad Office, the Pride Center, the Creative Writing Program, and other campus partners. The variety of programs aim to honor Black history and cultural contributions while providing space for meaningful reflection.
Aaron Dixon, a coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Life, has contributed countless hours of preparation to plan and coordinate many of the upcoming events. He notes that these events not only allow the UT community to celebrate but also highlight Black figures who have contributed—and continue to contribute—to society.
“Often we think of Black history as something that has happened in the past, but Black history is created and evolves every single day,” Dixon said. “We are able to raise awareness of Black history to the UT community by providing programs that showcase the work and tell the story of Black filmmakers, speakers, academics, students, as well as well-known Black figures.”
“It’s important that we celebrate Black History Month. There are so many trailblazers from our campus that we must hold up as exemplars to honor, including Theotis Robinson, Willie Mae Gillespie, and Charles Edgar Blair, who were our first Black undergraduate students on campus,” said Tyvi Small, vice chancellor for diversity and engagement. “It’s imperative that UT honors those who have paved the way and laid the foundation for us. Black History Month has always been an opportunity to recognize those who have left lasting legacies by challenging the status quo, advocating for equity, and fighting for justice for all.”
To view the full calendar of events visit calendar.utk.edu/event. Events both virtual or live are scheduled at venues across the campus. Registration is required to reserve social distance seating, or for virtual access instructions. Events on the calendar include:
Zuzu African Acrobats Live!
Frederick Douglass Day Celebration
Criminalizing the Mountain South: Persistent…
Southern (Dis)Comfort: Homosexuality in the…
The Delaney Brothers: Lives in Art; Weds.-Sat during February 11am-6pm. Downtown Gallery 106 S. Gay Street, Knoxville TN 37902