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Black History Month

2020 Events

Black History Month Opening Program and Keynote Address

 February 6

12:30 – 2:30 pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheater

Professor Yolanda Sealy-Ruiz of Teachers College will be the Keynote Speaker for the opening of Black History Month.  The national theme for Black History month is African Americans and the Vote.


 Black History Exhibit and Flea Market              

 February 6

9 am – 5 pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheatre and John E. Reeves Great Hall

 Voter registration drives will also be in both locations.


Commemoration of the Transatlantic Slave Trade-Black History Month

February 11

5:30 – 7 pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheater

The UCE of FIT invites you to attend a commemoration of the Transatlantic Slave Trade with keynote speaker Rodney Leon (African Burial Ground and Ark of Return at the UN); readings in English, French, and Spanish and African drums and dance.


Movie Screening “The Untold Story of Emmett Till”+ Q&A with director Keith A. Beauchamp       

February 11

6:30 pm

Pomerantz Center, Room D-207

 The Department of Film, Media, and Performing Arts invites you to view a documentary which chronicles the murder of a 14-year-old African-American named Emmett Louis Till. Emmett was accused of whistling at a white woman and was later tortured and killed because of it. When the men responsible for this awful act were found not guilty by an all-White jury, a groundswell of African American Resistance coalesced into forming the American Civil Rights Movement. As result of this documentary, the case was reopened.


Dapper Dan in conversation with Valerie Steele

 February 13

6 pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheatre 

The Museum at FIT presents "Dapper Dan in conversation with Valerie Steele." With his now-legendary store on 125th Street in Harlem, Dapper Dan pioneered high-end streetwear in the 1980s, remixing classic luxury-brand logos into his own innovative,glamorous designs. In this book, Dapper Dan tells his full story for the first time. Book signing to follow the presentation.

 “Fresh Dressed” Movie Screening

 February 18

6 pm

Pomerantz Center, Room D-207

 "Fresh Dressed" chronicles the history of Hip-Hop. Urban fashion and its rise from southern cotton plantations to the gangs of 1970s in the South Bronx, to corporate America, and everywhere in-between. Supported by rich archival materials and in depth interviews with individuals crucial to the evolution of a way of life--and the outsiders who studied and admired them--Fresh Dressed goes to the core of where style was born on the black and brown side of town. 


Black History Month Group photo

February 25

5 pm

Location to be determined

 This will be an opportunity for anyone in the FIT community to join in an annual group picture recognizing all the African American staff at the college.


Maafa reading/dedication and visuals of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

February 26

1 – 2 pm

Student Dining Hall

Maafa is a Kiswahili term for disaster, calamity or terrible occurrence. This term has been used to describe the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade/Middle Passage.  We will gather for a reading and dedication to honor our ancestors who have suffered through the middle passage.


Pioneering African American Ballerinas

February 27

7 pm

Katie Murphy Amphitheatre

Join MFIT and four pioneering African American ballerinas as they discuss their careers and their paths to national and international stardom. The panel includes Virginia Johnson, prima ballerina and current director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem; Lydia Abarca, first prima ballerina of DTH; Debra Austin, first ever African American ballerina with NYCB and principal ballerina with the Pennsylvania Ballet; and Aesha Ash, former ballerina with NYCB.