Celebrating Black History Month

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As Americans celebrate the accomplishments of African-Americans during Black History Month, Rutgers University-Newark can take a special place in the festivities.

The state’s most prestigious, largest and oldest Black History Month celebration, the Marion Thompson Wright Lecture, has been held here annually since it was begun in 1981. What’s more, a Rutgers University-Newark professor is co-founder: Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History Clement Price. This year’s lecture  was Feb. 15. Read Chancellor Nancy Cantor's opening remarks here.

Thanks to Clement Price, Black History Month takes on added meaning as he assumes the role of the official historian of the City of Newark and head of the committee that will organize observances of the 350th anniversary of the City’s founding.  Price, considered the foremost authority on black New Jersey, is the author of Freedom Not Far Distant: A Documentary History of Afro-Americans in New Jersey (1980). 

Want to learn more about African-American history? The Rutgers University Libraries are a good start, and courses on African American and African Studies are offered at Rutgers University-Newark. Various RU-N authors have written insightful  books about issues ranging from using jazz to achieve civil rights to urban politics during the era of black power to the role of female singers in the civil rights movement.

The MTW lecture is one of several public RU-N Black History Month programs:

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond: A Discussion and Reading

The Butler: A Witness to History

UMOJA and USAAMA: A Concert of West African Dance & Music