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NMSU celebrates Black History Month


The evolution of hip hop, health and mental health issues in the black community and a West African drum and dance workshop are among the activities New Mexico State University Black Programs has scheduled in February and March in celebration of Black History Month.

This year’s theme is “Redefining Blackness – Exploring Intersectionality.”

All events are free and are held on the NMSU campus.

Here is the schedule:

  • 8-11 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12: “1520 Sedgwick Avenue: The Evolution of Hip-Hop,” Corbett Center Ballroom, food provided. “This event will explore the history of hip-hop music through an interactive experience that will model 1520 Sedgwick Avenue on Aug. 11, 1973,” according to NMSU Black Programs. “The events of this day in 1973 can be considered the beginning of the hip-hop history timeline. What was intended to be an end-of-summer party at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in New York City ended up being ground zero for one of the most important musical phenomena of the century. Tables will be set up with information chronicling major developments and significant shifts in hip-hop music.”
  • 6-10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19: “The New Negro Movement: Harlem Renaissance Experience,” Corbett Center Ballroom, food provided. NMSU Black Programs describes the evening as “a speakeasy-themed event [paying] tribute to ‘The New Negro Movement,” better known as the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was the development of the Harlem neighborhood in New York City as a black cultural mecca in the early 20th century and the subsequent social and artistic explosion that resulted. Students will perform literature and music from key players in the Harlem Renaissance, and a live jazz band will perform.”
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21: West African Drum and Dance Workshop, Studio RH 103A, Rentfrow Hall, 3161 William Ave. Join Soriba Fofana, a native of Guinea who teaches traditional dance and drumming, directs his own performance company, “Wassa Ensemble,” and hosts an annual dance and drum festival, “Wassa Wassa,” in Santa Fe; and Fred Simpson, a native of San Francisco who has shared his passion and expertise in African drumming with children and students of all ages, from elementary school to universities across the United States. He is working on developing new drumming techniques that enhance student academic performance.
  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26: “Black Health Matters,” Corbett Center Aggie Lounge, includes self-care goodie bags. “Black Americans are at a greater risk of coronary heart disease and other health risks which can often lead to a shorter life expectancy,” according to NMSU Black Programs. “While access to health insurance and socioeconomic status can play a significant role in these health disparities, a lack of awareness, education, preventive care and mistrust of a healthcare system are critical factors.” The event “will provide information about health and well-being from a service-oriented perspective with lots of upbeat, positive solutions and tips.” The presentation includes tables with information about beauty, physical beauty, mental health and nutrition and fitness.
  • 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 11: Black Student Speak Out! Corbett Center Auditorium.
  • 6-8 p.m., Friday, March 20: “Let’s Talk About It! Addressing Suicide and Mental Health Issues in the Black Community,” Black Programs Student Lounge, Garcia Center, Room 135, snacks provided. “The mission of NMSU Black Programs, according to the department website, is “to unite students of African-American, Caribbean and African descent by increasing the awareness and appreciation of Black history through educational, cultural, social and academic programs. Our mission includes maintaining a vital support network to help students explore their chosen academic fields and succeed in completing their degree program.”

Patrick E. Turner, Ph.D., and Kimberly York are co-acting directors of NMSU Black Programs, which is celebrating its 50th year of service.

For more information, visit https://blackprograms.nmsu.edu/.


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