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Black History Month Virtual Events Planned at UW

February 1, 2021

Several virtual events are planned this month as part of the University of Wyoming’s Black History Month celebration.

“The Death of Black Wall Street and the Myth of the American Dream” is the theme of Black History Month, sponsored by UW’s African American and Diaspora Studies (AADS) and the Black Studies Center. Events are free and open to the public.

“This year’s theme reckons with the 100th anniversary of one of America’s most catastrophic events,” says Fredrick Douglass Dixon, the Black Studies Center’s director and an assistant professor in the UW School of Culture, Gender and Social Justice. “Each event examines the layered nuances of the economic, political and social impacts of Black Wall Street’s death.”

Black History Month events are:

-- Today (Monday), 5:30 p.m.: “Cinematic Realism and Racist Propaganda Part 1: ‘The Birth of A Nation.’” This discussion will examine the social impact of the 1915 blockbuster on patriotism, World War I and the rise of the second wave of the Ku Klux Klan. Panelists are Simone Drake, a professor at Ohio State University; Pemon Rami, a film producer and theater director; and Caskey Russell, an associate professor at UW. Dixon will moderate.

The Zoom link is

-- Friday, Feb. 5, 9 a.m.-noon: Third annual Black History Month Conference. The conference will examine the 100th anniversary of the death of Black Wall Street. Ashley Howard, an assistant professor at the University of Iowa, will give the keynote address. A student research panel will feature Jaida Cooper, from Thornton, Colo.; Jaylen Pate, of Chicago; and Toby Thompson, from Cheyenne. Danny Dale, UW College of Arts and Sciences interim dean, and Ulrich Adelt, AADS director, will offer remarks. Timberly Vogel, the Black Studies Center’s director of community engagement and research assistant, will moderate.   

The Zoom link is

-- Monday, Feb. 8, 5:30 p.m.: “The Miseducation of the Negro and Black Studies.” This discussion will examine the saliency and value of Carter Woodson’s 1933 book, “The Mis-Education of the Negro,” to contemporary formal education issues and beyond. Panelists are Sunni Ali, an associate professor at Northeastern Illinois University; Rashid Faisal, a principal internship coach at Columbia University; and Will Guzman, a professor at Prairie View A&M University. Dixon will moderate.

The Zoom link is

-- Thursday, Feb. 11, 7 p.m.: “Medical Mistrust, Vaccines and the Black Community.” This conversation will examine the controversy of historical and contemporary problematic concerns of Blacks’ critical mass regarding the American medical community. Panelists are minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad and Lorette Shabazz, a professor at Western Illinois University. Vogel will moderate.

The Zoom link is

-- Monday, Feb. 15, 5:30 p.m.: “Cinematic Realism and Racist Propaganda Part 2: ‘Before They Die!’” A panel will review this independent film, which explores the death of Black Wall Street from the survivors’ point of view. Panelists are Benny Boyd, an assistant football coach at UW; Daniel Davis, an associate professor at Kennedy-King College; Byron Shabazz, president of the McDonough County (Ill.) branch of the NAACP; and Damario Solomon-Simmons, a civil rights attorney in Tulsa, Okla. Dixon will moderate.

The Zoom link is

 -- Thursday, Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.: “Critical Self-Awareness in Anti-Racist Leadership.” Dulcinea Hearn and Ebonee Weathers, from the San Diego Unified School District, will present a professional development discussion that provides pathways, strategies and techniques to eradicate racism in professional settings. Dixon will moderate.

The Zoom link is

-- Tuesday-Friday, Feb. 16-19: Black Student Alliance Week. Events to be announced.

-- Monday, Feb. 22, 5:30 p.m.: “Cinematic Realism and Racist Propaganda Part 3: ‘Rosewood.’” In 1923, Rosewood, Fla., was pillaged by white mobs who killed several Blacks and destroyed the town. This discussion will explore how the similarities of southern etiquette’s social conditions align with those of the death of Black Wall Street. Panelists are Adelt; Darrell Jackson and Tracey Patton, both UW professors; and Larry Muhammad, founder of Unlocking Genius Institute in Chicago. Dixon will moderate.

The Zoom link is

-- Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.: “A Tale of Two Towns: Black Homesteaders and the Myth of the American Dream.” “The Modern West” podcast episode “A Tale of Two Towns” will serve as a jumping-off point for a discussion about Black towns in the West, particularly in Wyoming and Colorado. Panelists are Erin Jones, Wyoming Public Radio cultural affairs producer, and Karla Slocum, a professor at the University of North Carolina. Dixon will moderate.

The Zoom link is

-- Thursday, Feb. 25, 5:30 p.m.: “Challenging Police Perspectives Surrounding the Controversy of Defunding.” This conversation will discuss the complexities and layered nuances of this controversial topic. Panelists are Aaron Appelhans, Albany County sheriff; Jael Kerandi, a student leader at the University of Minnesota; Kevin Lee, a police lieutenant at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; and Mike Samp, UW police chief. Vogel will moderate.  

The Zoom link is

For more information, email Dixon at

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