Black History Month

DATE: Monday, February 5, 2024

Events celebrate African Americans and the Arts

Raishad J. Glover

Holyoke Community College is celebrating Black History Month in February with a series of events highlighting this year's national theme: "African Americans and the Arts."

Events at HCC kick off Thurs., Feb. 8, at 11 a.m. with a presentation by HCC visual arts professor Raishad J. Glover, whose artwork is now on display in the college's Taber Art Gallery in a show titled "Geo-Spec: Cultural Introspection Wealth." Glover's talk, followed by a Q&A, will be held in Room 303 in HCC's Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development. 

Next week, on Wed., Feb 14, at 11 a.m., the college's Black Student Alliance and Latinx Empowerment Association (LEA Club) will co-host an open mic and "Taste of the Diaspora" event on the second floor of the Campus Center, with live student performances accompanied by food representing cultures of people whose descendants came from Africa. 

"Black History is made every day," President George Timmons said last week in a message to HCC students, faculty, and staff. "Let's explore, teach, and celebrate Black history in February and beyond. As part of my own celebrations, I pay tribute to the members of the Black community on our campus, and in particular to my colleagues and members of the student body. I am proud to work and learn alongside you." 

Black History Month events at HCC will continue on Wed., Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. with a performance by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir in the Leslie Phillips Theater. 

On Thurs., Feb. 22, at 11 a.m., in Room 224 of the Campus Center, performance poet, playwright, and pop culture critic Nicole Young-Martin, Ed.D., will lead a program titled "Write the Way," during which she will read from her own work and engage in a discussion with students about the importance of including marginalized voices in the literary canon. 

Black History Month at HCC concludes on Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. with a "Phenomenal Black Women's Panel" in Room 224 of the Campus Center. Julissa Colón, director of HCC's El Centro program, will moderate a panel that includes Jada J. Waters, Ed.D., director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Middletown, Conn., public schools; Erika Slocumb, a Black history scholar and director of interpretation and visitor experience at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Conn.; Kandice E. Jones, a counselor from the Center for Human Development; and Qua'Nae Golston-Thomas, a student activist at Holyoke High School and podcast host of "Let's Talk With Qua'Nae" on Holyoke Media. 

"With this panel, we are creating an opportunity for our students to see their reflections mirrored, learning from the participants' insights about what it means to aspire to our dreams and what it takes to live them," Colón said. 

To learn more about Black History Month at HCC or to participate over Zoom, please go to:

PHOTOS: HCC visual art professor Raishad J. Glover will talk about his artwork during a Black History Month presentation on Thursday, Feb. 8.