Black History Month Observance at Kent State Stark

Black History Month, or National African American History Month (United States), is an official, annual celebration of achievements by Black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. In 1970, according to the "Kent Stater," Kent State University began observance of Black History Month, however, it was not until 1976 that every president designated the month of February as Black History Month. Black History month is also officially recognized in February in Canada.

The Kent State Stark Black History Committee's observance of Black History Month will be spotlighting the achievements of African-Americans from various fields and disciplines.


Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021
11 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Via Zoom

The link to the film showing will be emailed to you after you register. View event flyer.

They’re artists, academics, athletes, activists, authors and more -- a remarkable group of African-American notables share candid stories and revealing insights into the struggles, triumphs and joys of black life in the U.S. From the childhood inspirations that shaped their ambitions, to the evolving American landscape they helped define, to the importance of preserving a unique cultural identity for future generations, these prominent individuals offer a unique look into the zeitgeist of black America, redefining the traditional pejorative notion of a blacklist.

Discussion moderated by Professor Jessica Jones, Dr. Joel Carbonell and Dr. Robert Hamilton. Direct questions to Professor Jessica Jones at

Sponsored by the Kent State Stark Black History Committee.


Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr.Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr.

  • Born August 19, 1946 in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Education: BS in Electrical Engineering, United States Naval Academy; MS in Systems Management from University of Southern California (USC)
  • Member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity
  • United States Marine Corps pilot and major general
  • Astronaut – flew on four space shuttle flights
  • Became 12th director of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • First African-American permanent director of agency
  • Directed NASA from 2009 – 2017
  • Distinguished awards: National Space Trophy, Nierenberg Prize and Carl Sagan Award

Amanda S. C. GormanAmanda S. C. Gorman

  • Born March 7, 1998
  • Education: studied sociology and graduated cum laude from Harvard University
  • Youngest-ever inaugural poet in the U.S.; delivered an inaugural poetry reading at the January, 20, 2021, inauguration
  • Received a Genius Grant from OZY Media
  • Three books forthcoming from Penguin Random House, including "The Hill We Climb"
  • Contributor to the New York Times, CBS This Morning¸ among many notable others
  • Appointed the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017 by Urban Word – a program that supports Youth Poets Laureate across the country

“For there is always light,
If only we're brave enough to see it,
If only we're brave enough to be it.”
– Poetry reading of "The Hill We Climb"

Photo source: Kelia Anne/Sun Literary Arts via AP

Cornel West, Ph.D.Cornel West Ph.D.

  • Born June 2, 1953
  • Completed his undergraduate degree in three years from Harvard University
  • M.A. & Ph.D. from Princeton University in philosophy
  • Currently Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University
  • Advocate for democracy and racial justice
  • Has written 20 books
  • Frequent contributor on CNN, C-Span, Democracy Now, Bill Maher Show



Discover more about Kent State Stark's diversity events and committees.



POSTED: Friday, February 12, 2021 - 3:13pm
UPDATED: Friday, February 19, 2021 - 11:44am
Kent State University at Stark