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Black History Month


Every year in February we celebrate and recognize Black History Month.The month provides an opportunity to commemorate and celebrate the history of the black community.

Black Student Organizations

Black Student Alliance

"The Black Students' Alliance was created to serve as the central resource organization for all Black students on the campus of Michigan State University. The mission of the Black Students' Alliance is to promote, encourage, and enhance the academic, cultural, political, professional, and social progress of the Black community through the central programming initiatives of the Board of Directors."

Email: bsaemail2(at)

Instagram: @msu_bsa


Black and Broad

We aim to support and represent Black business minded students. Create a safe space where Black Diaspora students can express their concerns and find solutions to succeed. We also aim to be a pipeline of resources and academic help for students to succeed at the Eli Broad college of Business.

Email: blackandbroad(at)



Black Celebratory (formerly African American Celebratory)

A young group of African American students led by Michael Oden decided it was time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of other black students on campus. With the support of the Black Student Alliance, as well as black faculty and staff, they founded the Black Celebratory formerly known as African American Celebratory. Black Celebratory is known for hosting the traditional cultural event of Black Graduation on Michigan State University's campus. Black Celebratory received both local and national support for acknowledging the accomplishments of black students in its first active year. However, with support came criticism. Nevertheless, the organization continues to productively celebrate the graduation of black students. Over the years, the goals of the MSUBC have expanded to include community outreach and service learning engagement. Black Graduation is a ceremony focused around Michigan State University’s Black student’s accomplishment of successfully completing an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree from Michigan State University. Black Graduation represents the culture of our students, support of our communities, and excellence in scholarship. A cultural rite of passage that acknowledges all prospective graduates and in no way is a replacement ceremony to Michigan State’s yearly commencement. While sharing in the values of scholarship, community, integrity, and black excellence in all student experiences; Black Grad concludes each ceremony with a Kente-Stole accolade dedicated to the current class of graduates from Michigan State University"

Email: rso.aac(at)

Instagram: @msu_bc


Black Girl Fitness

The objective of Black Girl Fitness is to increase the number of women who not only lead a healthier lifestyle, but can have a comfortable setting to reach their fitness goals. Michigan State students will be able to partake in physical activity, a diverse number of fitness routines, as well as active discussions and information on better living.


Instagram: @bgfmsu


Honor Students of Color Coalition

The Honors Students of Color Coalition (HSOCC) supports students of color in their transition to the Honors College/Academic Scholars Program & Michigan State University and fosters their continued success in college. HSOCC is committed to building a sense of community among students of color on campus; membership is also open to students not in the Honors College/Academic Scholars Program.

Student of color is meant to be a unifying term and is inclusive of American Indian, African, Black, Central Asian, Chicana/o/x, Hispanic, Indigenous, Latina/o/x, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, South and Southeast Asian, West Asian, and biracial/multiracial identities. This community is open to all undergraduate students looking to support the experiences of students of color at MSU.

Email: Komislin(at) 


Black Undergraduate Law Association

The National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), founded in 1968, is a national organization formed to articulate and promote the needs and goals of Black law students and effectuate change in the legal community. As the largest student run organization in the United States with over 6,000 members, NBLSA is also comprised of chapters or affiliates in six different countries including The Bahamas, Nigeria, and South Africa. Organized into six regions (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southern, Midwest, Southwest, and Western Region), the organization has over 200 chapters among many of the nation's law schools. NBLSA encourages the development of talented, social conscious lawyers of tomorrow. Each year, the organization holds an annual convention to engage in legal activism and prepare new generations of Black lawyers to "effectuate change." Additionally, the Thurgood Marshall Moot Court, Constance Baker Motley Mock Trial, and Nelson Mandela International Negotiations Competitions are held during the Annual Convention.

Email: bonneyli(at)

Instagram: @msublsa


Black Girls in Social Science

We are creating a community for Black girls in Social Science to connect and create new opportunities together as female minority students at Michigan State University!

Email: waltonim(at)




General Resources

Black History Month Resource Guide for Educators and Families

  • Center for Racial Justice in Education

  • Compiled list of resources for educators when it comes to centering Black voices in the classroom such as teaching Black Lives Matter in schools, why we need Black History Month, and how to center Black women and girls in schools.


Black History Month: A reading list of books by Black UCLA faculty

  • University of California Los Angeles

  • List of 10 books to read to celebrate Black History Month selected by Black faculty at UCLA.


Black Fiction Books

  • Goodreads

  • Compiled list of books tagged and shelved as ‘Black fiction’ on Goodreads.


Black Lives Matter: A Reading List

  • Left Bank Books

  • A community curated list of literature around race with categories such as civil rights history, memoirs, and readings on policing and incarceration.

Black History Month Events

Month Long Events

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Stuff the Library book drive

Support MSU's goals to fill the Grand Rapids Public Schools with books on topics of social justice with diverse representation. For more information, visit the Center for Community Engaged Learning or Stuff the Library giving page

More Events

“Resistance Training: Arts, Sports and Civil Rights” art exhibition: 02/01/2024

Located in the MSU Broad Art Museum, this exhibit explores the shared values between artists and athletes advancing social justice-related issues. The exhibit will be on display until Feb.18.


 24th Annual William G. Anderson Lecture Series, Slavery to Freedom: An American Odyssey with Tanisha Ford: 02/01/2024

Tanisha Ford, author of four books relating to civil rights and Black culture, speaks on the intersection of politics, economics and culture. She has received several awards and honors for her work, including being named one of the Root’s 100 Most Influential African Americans. Her research has been supported by many institutions, including the Ford Foundation, New America and Emerson Collective, to name a few. The lecture will take place at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts in the Pasant Theatre. Register on Qualtrics.


Perspectives in Black: Emerging Visions “Making Space x Taking Space: Sam x Elijah” art exhibit’s opening reception: 02/02/2024

Located in Snyder Hall in the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities LookOut Gallery will be an opening reception with food and music for the “Making Space x Taking Space: Sam x Elijah” art exhibit, featuring a meet-and-greet with artists Samantha Modder and Elijah Hamilton-Wray. The LookOut Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 12 to 3 p.m., and the exhibit will be on display until Feb. 23.


15th MSU Comics Forum: Creator Keynote Address with Keith Knight: 02/02/2024

This event is located at the Main Library and will be livestreamed on the MSU Comics Forum YouTube channel. Keith Knight, a comic artist who explores themes of race and identity, will kickoff the two-day event. Learn more about the schedule at the Comics Forum webpage.

15th MSU Comics Forum: Artist Alley and Academic Presentations: 02/03/2024

Located at the Main Library, this event will host several artists to exhibit their artwork. The event will end around 5 p.m. The academic presentations will be livestreamed on the MSU Comics Forum YouTube channel.

15th MSU Comics Forum: Scholar Keynote Address with Rebecca Wanzo: 02/03/2024

Located at the Main Library and livestreamed on the MSU Comics Forum YouTube channel, this event is a keynote address with Rebecca Wanzo, an American academic specializing in African American literature and culture, critical race theory, fan studies and feminist theory.

Sankofa Project Session I: Celebrating and Remembering Rosa Parks and Congressman John Lewis: 02/03/2024

Green will celebrate and share his recollections of the late civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Georgia Congressman John Lewis at the Robert L. Green Elementary School in East Lansing.

15th MSU Comics Forum: In-Store Signing with José Alaniz: 02/03/2024

Author José Alaniz will visit A Novel Concept bookstore in Lansing to meet guests, answer questions and sign books!

Orville Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner Q&A on Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court” at MSU College of Law: 02/06/2024

Join the conversation and get to know the authors of the book Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court at MSU College of Law, Castle Boardroom, Room 343Read the staff voice: waiting for justice by Timothy Innes, the reference and academic outreach librarian in the John F. Schaefer Law Library.

Orville Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner Q&A on Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court” at James Madison College: 02/06/2024

Join the conversation and get to know the authors of the book Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court at James Madison College, Case Hall’s Spartan Club.

James Madison College 2nd Annual Black History Month Symposium: 02/07/2024

This year’s symposiumlocated in Case Hall’s Club Spartan, features Michigan’s first Black woman Supreme Court Justice Kyra H. Bolden. Register on Eventbrite by Feb.1.

24th Annual William G. Anderson Lecture Series, Slavery to Freedom: An American Odyssey with MC Lyte: 02/08/2024

MC Lyte is an American rapper, DJ, actress and entrepreneur. She is the first female of hip-hop’s emcees to release a solo album and tease a new podcast. She also opened doors for many to join what is now being celebrated as “50 Years of Hip Hop.” She recently received the “I Am Hip Hop” Lifetime Achievement Award from BET and was honored at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors. Register to attend at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in Big Ten Rooms A and B

Sankofa Project Session II: Community Conversation with Campus Police: Higher Ed Leadership in Trying Times: 02/10/2024

Taking place at Erickson Hall 133D and 133E, this event is a community conversation about leadership in higher education featuring MSU Department of Police and Public Safety.

Douglass Day Transcribe-a-thon: Help Transcribe the Letters of Frederick Douglass: 02/14/2024

Participate in a birthday celebration (with cake!) and transcribe-a-thon for Frederick Douglass at the Main Library, DSL Flex Space, 2-West, that brings together thousands of participants at more than one hundred simultaneous events worldwide. Register for the event.

24th Annual William G. Anderson Lecture Series, Slavery to Freedom: An American Odyssey with the William Joseph Barber II: 02/15/2024

William Barber is president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach; co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival; bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries; pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church; and professor in the practice of public theology and public policy and founding director of the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale Divinity School. He has authored four books regarding morality and social justice. Register to attend at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts’ Pasant Theatre.

MSU Professors of Jazz Concert: Oliver Nelson’s “Blues and the Abstract Truth”: 02/16/2024

Located in the College of Music’s Murray Hall of Music, this event will highlight the outstanding jazz work by composer and saxophonist Oliver Nelson. MSU faculty performers include Walter Blanding, saxophone; Xavier Davis, piano; Michael Dease, trombone; Randy Gelispie, drums; Randy Napoleon, guitar; Anthony Stanco, trumpet; Rodney Whitaker, bass; and guests. Purchase your tickets to attend. Anyone under 18 and students with IDs can attend for free.

Sankofa Project Session III: MSU Reflections: Campus Climate After Dr. King’s Assassination: 02/17/2024

Distinguished Professor Emeritum Robert L. Green will share his recollections of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the climate around the MSU campus after King’s assassination at Erickson Hall in Room 133F.

Beal Lunch and Learn: Black Botany: 02/21/2024

Join Angelica Bajos, Beal wellbeing coordinator, and Mark Powers, Beal education scholar, at Erickson Hall, Room 133F, to learn about plants significant to well-being within the African Diaspora. Celebrate Black History Month by exploring plants important for beauty remedies, medicine, spiritual care and more. For the virtual option, register on Zoom.

24th Annual William G. Anderson Lecture Series, Slavery to Freedom: Love Got Me Over: Singing to Freedom Live Concert Recording: 02/21/2024

Don’t miss this night of live band performances at the Fairchild Theatre with storytelling and Black history in collaboration with the MSU College of Music and the MSU Gospel Choir, led by Phoenix Miranda, Caleb Robinson and Rashun Watson. Register for the event.

“From Detroit to the Cosmos: Carl Craig on Techno and Afrofuturism” conversation: 02/21/2024

Join us in celebrating Black History Month with an exclusive and intimate event featuring the renowned multidisciplined visionary and Detroit techno luminary, Carl Craig. Presented in partnership with WKAR Public Media and moderated by MSU Museum curator Julian Chambliss, this unique program will explore Craig’s creative process and Detroit Techno’s fundamental role in shaping contemporary Afrofuturism. Learn more and register.

24th Annual William G. Anderson Lecture Series, Slavery to Freedom: An American Odyssey with Rani Whitfield: 02/23/2024

Rani Whitfield is a highly accomplished Board-Certified Family Physician specializing in sports medicine. Identifying community wellness as a freedom movement, Whitfield’s talk — located in the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center — will focus on Black men’s health. He is widely recognized for his advocacy work, serving as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. He has earned numerous awards, including the American Stroke Association Southeastern Affiliates Service Award, the ASA Legacy Award and the NAACP Freedom Award. Register and attend.


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