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Commemorating Black History Month 2023
Dear CUNY SPS Community:
Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, an important observance designated to honor the contributions of past and present generations of Black people in the United States and beyond.
This year’s commemoration comes at a particularly tragic and painful time, as we continue to mourn and protest the shocking death of Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten by Memphis police just weeks ago. This fatal assault upon an innocent 29-year-old Black person serves as the latest grim reminder of the deeply rooted racism within our country—and especially within our law enforcement—and his unjust death will add even more gravity to our observance of Black History Month this February.
In addition to the dialogue spurred by Nichols, I would like to invite you all to explore some illuminating Black History Month resources curated by the CUNY SPS Committee on Institutional Equity and Diversity (CIED):
Important Black History Month Topics
- Black History Milestone (History.com)
- Black History Month and The Afro-Latinx Connection (Richland Library)
- Why Latinos Should Also Celebrate Black History Month (Dominicanosusa.org)
- Influential Afro-Latinx Trailblazers (Unidosus.org)
- 15 Books to Read for Black History Month and Beyond (The Innocence Project)
- The 1619 Project (the New York Times), now also streaming on HULU
National Organizations Sponsoring Black History Month Events and Programs
Local Cultural Organizations Featuring Black Artists and Events
- New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA)
- The Studio Museum in Harlem
- The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI)
- Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
- Apollo Theater
- Harlem Stage
Local Black History Month Events for Kids
Local Black-Owned and Operated Bookstores
- Cafe con Libros - Brooklyn, NY
- Grandma's Place - New York, NY
- The Schomburg Shop - New York, NY
For more information, visit the CIED Resources page. Additionally, I invite everyone to attend some of the Black History Month events hosted at CUNY schools.
Whatever you may personally choose to do to mark Black History Month over the coming weeks, I hope that it deepens your understanding of our country’s complex race relations and the way that Black Americans have—and continue to—persevere in the face of tremendous hardship, prejudice, and hate.
All the best,
Interim Dean, CUNY School of Professional Studies