Black History Month

Kent State Today
Victoria Alexander dialogue with Charmaine Crawford.

  Victoria Alexander is a viral speaker and scholar who came to Kent State for Black History Month to participate in a dialogue called "Black Identity Revealed: Victoria Talks."  Alexander is dedicated to raising critical consciousness and guiding students on a transformative journey of self-discovery, community-buildin...

Kent State Today
"Black Is" banner project.

 "What is Black to you?" was the question posed at an interactive event hosted by Black United Students in celebration of Black History Month. At a table in the Kent Student Center, students, faculty and staff were invited to leave their mark to create a piece of art with a message.  Participants were encouraged to leave the...

Banner for Oscar Ritchie Story

“Oscar Ritchie is a living embodiment of what Black History is.” Excerpt from a 2020 interview with Joshua Bellamy, ’21, then president of Kent State’s Alpha Phi Alpha chapter. A formidable educatorOscar Washington Ritchie first arrived on the campus of Kent State University in 1942, at the age of 33. He began studying pre-law but swi...

Guest speakers headshots for the Black History Month Fashion Event

Join the School of Fashion on February 23 at 9:30 a.m. in Rockwell Hall as we celebrate Black History Month. This year’s theme, “African Americans and the Arts” will be presented by our incredible alumni and industry partners. Our visiting guests will share their personal journey, drive and goal to work in the arts. Our school community wi...

MLK Family Event at King Kennedy Community Center

A student-led initiative at Kent State University commemorated the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. with an event that served families and children a hot meal – with a side of educational activities.  Flashes Fighting Hunger is a food security initiative powered by Kent State students and volunteers. In January, the orga...

Models wearing Sukeina museum exhibit collection

KENT, OHIO – The Kent State University Museum is honored to host the first museum exhibition in the United States dedicated to the work of the brand Sukeina founded by Omar Salam. The exhibit will open Friday, February 16 and will continue until Sunday, June 2. “We are especially proud to present the exquisite designs by Omar who was in...

Kent State Community Reflect on the Impact of Black History Month on Their Lives

Black History Month is a time to honor and celebrate the accomplishments, contributions and rich legacy of Black Americans in the U.S. Its roots date back to 1926, when Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, established Negro History Week, celebrated during the second week of Febr...

Senior history major Emma Kelly was among the Kent State students who visited Jackson State University for the alternative winter break trip.

Before history major Emma Kelly traveled to Jackson State University for an alternative winter break trip recently, she had been well educated about the police shootings that took place on the Mississippi campus on May 15, 1970, just days after the Ohio National Guard killed four students a...

A student passes a mural celebrating the founders of Black History Month in Oscar Ritchie Hall.

The mural in this atrium is one of several in Oscar Ritchie Hall created by Kent State University alumnus Ernest Pryor. It honors the members of Black United Students who founded Black History Month at Kent State in February 1970.    Pryor's first murals were part of the 1972 redecoration of Oscar Ritchie Hall (which ha...

Mwatabu Okantah, professor and chair of Kent State’s Department of Africana Studies, discusses the roots of Black History Month. (Image courtesy of WKYC Channel 3)

Feb. 1 marks the start of Black History Month. WKYC Channel 3 in Cleveland looked at the origins of Black History Month and Kent State University’s connection to the monthlong celebration. Black History Month traces its roots to 1926, when Carter G. Woodson, Ph.D., founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and Histo...