ASU honors college observes Black History Month with series of events

Black History Month, which takes place Feb. 1–March 1, is observed annually to commemorate people and events significant to the African diaspora.

Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University is observing the month, also called African American History Month, with education, art and history-focused events.

“Here at Barrett and ASU, it is important to celebrate the rich diversity that our community offers. During Black History Month we plan events and opportunities for students to learn about and celebrate others,” said Ashley Brand, director of student engagement at Barrett, The Honors College.

“As a component of one of our foundational programming pillars, cultural identity and experience, these events encourage acceptance while allowing students to also learn about the value of diversity, equity and inclusion,” she said.

On Feb. 6, Barrett, The Honors College at ASU's West campus hosted the Heritage Circuit Event: Black History Month Discussion on Black students’ relationship with public education in metropolitan Phoenix.

Discussion centered around educational innovations — such as ethnic studies curriculum, dual language programs and gifted programs — that have attracted Black families to metropolitan Phoenix seeking greater opportunities for their children than those available in other parts of the country or globe, and Black school board officials’ involvement in efforts to make public education more equitable for all Arizona students.

The art of African American artist Kenturah Davis will be the focus of an artist series event only open to honors students from 5 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Barrett Student Engagement Center at Vista del Sol on the ASU Tempe campus.

According to her biography, Davis is a contemporary artist working in Los Angeles and Acra, Ghana. She produces art in many forms, including drawing, textiles, sculpture and performances. LA Metro commissioned Davis to create an artwork for the Crenshaw/LAX rail line. Her work has been included in institutional exhibitions in Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. Davis earned a Bachelor of Arts from Occidental College and a Master of Fine Arts at Yale University School of Art. Davis was an inaugural artist fellow at NXTHVN in New Haven, Conneticut.

Students will learn more about Davis and create artwork in her style using written text and rubber stamps. Students can reserve a space at the event here.

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Manu Karuka

The Barrett Honors lecture series will feature Manu Karuka, author of "Empire's Tracks: Indigenous Nations, Chinese Workers, and the Transcontinental Railroad" and an assistant professor of American studies at Barnard College.

In his talk, scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Barrett theater at Vista del Sol, Karuka will discuss W.E.B. Du Bois's arguments about the end of Reconstruction as the "counter-revolution of property" to consider questions of colonialism, racism and exploitation driving the expansion of the U.S. into the Southwest. RSVP for the event here.  

An event hosted by Barrett Honors and its Black Student Association is being planned for March 1. Information about this event will be shared on Barrett's social media.