February 12, 1926, marked the first celebration of Black History Week, which commemorated and celebrated the contributions to our nation made by people of African descent. American historian Carter G. Woodson established the commemoration and it was celebrated during the second week of February for many years to coincide with the birthdays of abolitionist/editor Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the week was expanded into Black History Month. Each year, U.S. presidents proclaim February as National Black History Month.
UW-Stevens Point is celebrating Black History Month with a display in the University Library. Researched by members of the Black Student Union and created by students Serah Washington, Winnie Volkman and Kayla Quade, the display features African American involvement in music, art, science, politics, literature, sports and television as well as a photographic tribute to the late Nelson Mandela.
On Wednesday, Feb. 19, at 6 p.m in the University Library Reference Studio, South Africa native Alvin Schuller will present "I Am A Man," a talk about South Africa's past, present developments and connections with the United States. It is free and open to the public.
The Black Student Union will host the Soul Food Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 23, beginning at 5 p.m. in the Dreyfus University Center Laird Room. The theme for the evening is "Black Heritage: An Evening of Beauty and Culture." Barbara Hickman, the first black female graduate from UW-Stevens Point, will be a special guest, and the historic black Greek organizations of Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi and Phi Beta Sigma will offer performances.
Tickets, $8 for UW-Stevens Point students and $13 for adults and guests, may be purchased at University Information and Tickets in the Dreyfus University Center concourse or by calling 715-346-4100.