USC Upstate Celebrates Black History Month with Series of Events

February 11, 2015 at 10:30 am

The University of South Carolina Upstate will celebrate Black History Month with a series of events.

“This year’s Black History Month activities will focus on the education and celebration of African-American heritage, in an approach that is exciting, yet informative,” said Doug Peters, assistant director for multicultural programs at USC Upstate. “The range of topics will explore a mixture of historical and contemporary concepts.”

The first event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 5 with a keynote address by Dr. Consuela Ward in the Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom.

Ward, a diversity speaker, educator and consultant, will speak on the past, present and future of issues on pressing economic, political and social concerns that face black Americans. Ward has delivered speeches at colleges and universities, school systems, human resources, national conferences, youth groups, and community groups. She currently teaches classes at Kennesaw State University and is the founder and president of the Montage Group, LLC, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm.

Following the program by Ward, winners of the 2015 MLK Essay Contest will be recognized. Please RSVP to (864) 503-7454.

Lunch and Learn

Join USC Upstate professors as they discuss their research in life and work related to the African American experience.

A lunch and learn series will be held Thursdays in the Sansbury Campus Life Center Quiet Room. Faculty and staff lunches are $5. The scheduled programs are here:

  • Thursday, Feb. 5, 12 – 12:30 p.m. — “The Criminalization of Black Masculinity in the Jim Crow Era — Or, Why #blacklivesmatter Is not New” by Dr. Peter Caster
  • Thursday, Feb. 12, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. — “Black Demons and the ‘Super-Duper Magical Negro’” by Dr. Cassandra Jones
  • Thursday, March 5, 12 – 1 p.m. — “The Resurrection of Dred Scott: Redemption and Race in the Age of Obama” by Dr. Carmen Harris

Social Media and Leadership

“Live from Ferguson: Social Media, Millennial Leadership, and the Shape of Contemporary Protest” — Monday, February 23, 6 – 8 p.m. in the Sansbury Campus Life Center —  Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, Assistant Professor of Communication, Clemson University

The son of 1960s civil rights activist Makaza Kumanyika, Dr. Kumanyika’s focuses on critical perspectives on popular culture and communication for social justice. Before his career in academia, Dr. Kumanyika was the front man for the rap group The Spooks, which had gold records in several European countries. From Ferguson, Missouri, last August and November, he and his wife Saadiqa Kumanyika participated in and provided real time updates from the protests after the killing of Michael Brown. In December, the husband wife, scholar/activist team also live-streamed from protests in New York and Philadelphia. This summer Dr. Kumanyika participated in NPR’s Transom Traveling Workshops which brings new voices and stories to public radio through an intensive workshop on radio production and broadcasting. From that experience, he produced a story on a local fisherman. Dr. Kumanyika began to consider the issue of “code-switching” and diversity, “The Whiteness of the “Public Radio Voice.” His publication on this revelation on the Transom website went viral and was republished on NPR, Buzzfeed, and is garnering attention in the national press.

Film Festival

The Second Annual French and Francophone Festival will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 24 in the Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom.

Dr. Warren Carson will present on African-Americans in Spartanburg and World War I.

On Wednesday, February 25, the film festival continues with the movie, “Dear White People,” at 6 p.m. in the Campus Life Center Ballroom.

“Dear White People” is a film that focuses on a biracial student who tries to shake up race relations at her Ivy-league college by forcing her traditionally Black residence hall to diversify.

For more information on these events, call Doug Peters at (864) 503-7454 or by email at All events are open to the public.