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Town hall to kick off Black History Month

Black at Cornell, a town hall and community event on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m., launches Black History Month on campus. Students, faculty and staff will gather in the Africana Center multipurpose room to discuss global Blackness and the experience of being Black on campus – and finish out the night with refreshments and music by DJ Ishion Hutchinson and student Esther Heller, an MFA candidate in poetry.

The event will highlight Black faculty and student voices, with all members of the Cornell community encouraged to come and share their experiences. Reserve your free ticket.

“We are getting together to ask radical questions about what Blackness here at Cornell means,” said Mukoma Wa Ngugi, associate professor of literatures in English in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) and one of the event’s organizers.

Scheduled faculty speakers include Ngugi, Carole Boyce Davies (Africana Studies and Research Center, Literatures in English, A&S), Russell Rickford (History, A&S), Ishion Hutchinson (Literatures in English, A&S), and A&S colleagues. They will be joined by leaders from Black Students United and the Caribbean Students’ Association and other student speakers.

“What keeps us united and divided at the same time? What can we learn about each other and the political world from our many histories? We are hoping for a campuswide, honest, but ultimately useful conversation – a conversation that will bring changes,” Ngugi said.

Hosted by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and cosponsored by the Africana Studies and Research Center, the event is part of the Einaudi Center’s work on inequalities, identities and justice, which will include a semester-long series of events on global Blackness this spring.

Megan DeMint is a communications specialist for Global Cornell.

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