Detroit Mercy observes Black History Month with variety of events

Detroit Mercy observes Black History Month with variety of events

February is Black History Month and Detroit Mercy is celebrating with a series of in-person and virtual programming on the McNichols Campus.

Dorothy Stewart, associate dean of students and chair of Detroit Mercy’s Black History Month planning team, hopes members of the University community gain a better appreciation for the surrounding community through these events.

“We designed Black History Month activities to allow an exploration of Black-owned businesses through the food truck experience and learn more about the cultural diversity of the community through the tours,” Stewart said. “Professor Finkenbine will explore historical perspectives and provide an author to broaden our current perspectives.”

Below are details for Detroit Mercy’s Black History Month events. Stay up to date with other University programming by visiting Detroit Mercy Live.

A graphic promoting University of Detroit Mercy's Black History Month celebration, featuring red, green and yellow colored boxes behind the words "Black History Month" and black and white images of several historic Black figures. The graphic includes Detroit Mercy's logo and the following text: February 2022, Black History is American History, events sponsored by University Ministry, Muslim Student Association, College of Liberal Arts & Education, African American Studies Program, Black Abolitionist Archive, Student Life Office, Dean of Students Office and McNichols Campus Library.

Black History Month events

Tuesdays and Wednesdays in February
Food truck lunches
Sacred Heart Square (location on McNichols Campus subject to change)

Enjoy a tasty lunch as local, Black-owned food trucks visit the McNichols Campus. Multiple trucks will be included, headlined by On The Run food truck on Tuesdays and Durden’s Catering’s The Gripper food truck on Wednesday.

Tuesday, Feb. 1
Observing World Hijab Day

World Hijab Day was first celebrated in 2013 to encourage religious tolerance, as women of all religions and backgrounds are invited to wear and experience the hijab for a day. University Ministry and the Muslim Student Association, co-sponsors for Detroit Mercy’s observance of World Hijab Day, will host a photo challenge on Instagram, where the University community can submit photos of themselves wearing a hijab, and a virtual discussion about the meaning of the hijab.

Monday, Feb. 7
Virtual book talk: Clint Smith on How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
7 p.m.

Clint Smith, a staff writer at The Atlantic, will talk in a webinar about his recent book, which examines how the collective history and memory of the United States’ slaveholding past shapes our nation today. The book has been recognized as one of the 10 best books of 2021 by The New York Times, and bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi says it “frees history, frees humanity to reckon honestly with the legacy of slavery.”

The webinar is free and open to the public. Those interested in participating must register in advance.

Smith’s talk is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Education, African American Studies, the Black Abolitionist Archive and the Student Life Office.

Thursday, Feb. 10
Make an African mask
4:30-6:30 p.m.
McNichols Campus Library, first floor

Detroit Mercy students and employees can create their own African masks for an arts and crafts contest. Creators of the top three masks, voted on by the Black Student Union, will receive a $50 gift card. All African masks created and submitted for competition will be displayed in the McNichols Campus Library’s first floor lobby from Feb 21-28.

This event is co-sponsored by Student Life and the Black Student Union.

Monday, Feb. 14
Love Stories from the Underground Railroad
12-1 p.m.
Bargmann Room, McNichols Campus Library, second floor

Professor of History Roy E. Finkenbine recounts the lives of Caesar and Sally, one of the many so-called Black Indian families created because of the Underground Railroad. In 1774, Caesar, an enslaved Virginian, sought sanctuary in the Shawnee villages in the Ohio country. There, he met and married Sally, a Shawnee woman, and produced several children. Caesar fought with other Shawnee warriors to hold onto the land in the face of white settlement. Two of their sons later fought with Tecumseh in the early 19th century to do the same.

Those attending the live talk will be provided refreshments to take with them at the end of the program. A virtual option will be available to those who register in advance.

Now in its ninth year, Love Stories is co-sponsored by the Black Abolitionist Archive and Student Life.

Wednesday, Feb. 16
Movie night: The Best Man Holiday
7 p.m.
Ford Life Sciences, room 113

Join fellow Titans for a viewing of The Best Man Holiday, an American comedy-drama film chosen by the Black Student Union and Titan Equity Nourish Network (TENN). The film, released in 2013, received numerous accolades, including nominations for Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards.

Sunday, Feb. 20
Ecumenical Service
4 p.m.
Student Union, Fountain Lounge, first floor

Pastor Teamos Hogan Jr. of Frontline Christian Church will lead the service, which will feature music from a local praise and worship band and special testimonials from Detroit Mercy students. Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome to attend. The ecumenical service is co-sponsored by University Ministry, Student Life and the McNichols Campus Library.

Thursday, Feb. 24
Detroit tours: Detroit Historical Museum
2:30-4:30 p.m.

Students and employees can tour the Detroit Historical Museum, led by historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan.

Those interested in attending should meet at the Livernois gate on Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus at 2 p.m. Capacity is limited to 40 people, which includes a bus trip from the University to the museum.

Jordan is the founder of the Black Scroll Network History & Tours, which specializes in tours that focus on African American history in Detroit.

Register in advance for the tour.