Black History Month 2020 at Island University Features Full Slate of Programming

By Richard Guerrero | Published: January 27, 2020

Black History Month 2020 at Island University Features Full Slate of Programming
The 34th annual MLK Commemorative March in Downtown Corpus Christi included a group of 53 Islanders representing the University.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – For Black History Month 2020, the Black History Month (BHM) Committee at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi has organized a busy schedule of 24 events that began on Jan. 20 with participation in the 34th annual MLK Commemorative March in Downtown Corpus Christi and ends with the closing of the Color Expressions Art Exhibit presented by Project GRAD on the second floor of the Mary & Jeff Bell Library on Feb. 27.

All events are free and open to the public, although some events require an RSVP. Spotlight events include:

  • Wednesday, Jan.29: Black Student Mixer, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Corpus Christi Hall 274 in the President’s Suite.  
  • Monday, Feb. 10: Campus Conversation: State of Black Hair, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. in the University Center, Anchor Ballrooms. 
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18: MLK Awards and Performance, from 3-5 p.m. in the University Center, Lonestar A & Tejas Ballrooms.

For more information and a full list of Black History Month events, visit http://bhm.tamucc.edu/.

The Black History Committee, which consists of 21 members, has been working on the 2020 celebration since last fall, according to committee member Delaney Vampran-Foster, Assistant Director of Engagement Initiatives and Islander Cultural Alliance Advisor. 

“It all begins by identifying student and faculty co-chairs, who work to set our theme, and the tone of the celebrations. We are lucky in our leadership of Dr. Dessynie Edwards and Anaya Cotton,” Vampran-Foster said. “Our first leadership meeting was in early October 2019, and our first committee meeting took place in early November. In a perfect world, we would start planning over the summer, so that is our goal for 2021.”

Kayla Stovall, Coordinator of Prevention Programs in Engagement Initiatives, also serves on the committee. Stovall said members – including students – have the opportunity to plan and host events as well as share ideas during meetings.  

“We have individual students on the planning committee, such as Mo Jenkins from the Student Government Association and Anaya Cotton, who is a resident assistant at Momentum Village,” Stovall said. “We work as a group to decide on budget, designs ideas, and logistics of overall plans for the celebrated month.”

Stovall said celebrating Black History Month helps to educate Islanders about the experience of the African-American community as it relates to the history of the United States.

“Celebrating Black History Month at the university level allows us to set a trajectory for everyone to understand the truth behind American and global history so that we can better understand where we are now and where we need to go in the future,“ Stovall said.

Vampran-Foster said the origins of the campus-based celebration date back to 2003 when the first formal Black History Month calendar was organized by Multicultural Programs and the African-American Cultural Society. The celebration has grown over the years, and this year’s calendar features new activities.

“For the first time ever, we organized a formal marching contingent with a banner for the MLK March here in the city – 53 Islanders showed up to march with the group, which is outstanding,” Vampran-Foster said. “New events include the Drum Circle on Tuesday, Feb. 4 and Campus Conversation: State of Black Hair on Monday, Feb. 10. We will also have a fascinating community partnership event called ‘Stories from Our Own Backyard: The Undocumented Story of African-Americans in Corpus Christi’ on Tuesday, Feb. 25. Please join us for at least one event – there really is something for everyone.”