College of Humanities and Department of Africana Studies Celebrate Black History Month

February 2nd, 2023

The College of Humanities and Department of Africana Studies are excited to present several events in celebration of BlackHistoryMonth.

Presented as part of the Tucson Humanities Festival spring series, the events are free and open to the public. 

Black History Month Kick-Off Open House

Tuesday, February 7, 2:00 PM | FREE
North Ballroom | Student Union Memorial Center

Meet the Department of Africana Studies at this lively kick-off to the 2023 Black History Month. Enjoy FREE food and an afternoon of amazing performances in a club-like atmosphere. Win prizes, take away fun giveaways and more!

Faculty Guest DJs on KXCI
Fridays, 5 PM (with the exception of Thursday, Feb. 9, also at 5 PM)

Live on KXCI Community Radio, 91.3 FM or

As part of an annual partnership with KXCI Community Radio, professors from Africana Studies will be featured as guest DJs on the Home Stretch each week February. The professors will select a topic to discuss and play related songs, illuminating subjects related to music, culture, history and their own research. 

Tune in on Feb. 3 for Jerome Dotson, Feb. 9 for Bayo Ijagbemi, Feb. 17 for Tani Sanchez, and Feb. 24 for Yuxuf Abana. 

UPROOTED: Film Screening

Post-Screening Q&A with film team members:
Khadifa Wong, Matt Simpkins, and Laura Smyth

Friday, February 10, 7:00 PM | FREE (Pre-show reception opens at 6:00 PM in the lobby)
Stevie Eller Dance Theatre | 1713 E University Blvd 

Presented by Arizona Arts Hanson FilmTV Institute in collaboration with the School of Dance and Africana Studies.

UPROOTED is a feature-length documentary celebrating the history, lineage, and future progressions of jazz dance. With a stellar cast of leading industry experts, award-winning choreographers, and legendary performers, this ground-breaking documentary goes back to the roots in Africa and follows the evolution of this incredible dance form through every single decade and genre. Exploring and commenting on political and social influences, the film addresses topics such as appropriation, racism, socialism and sexism.

UPROOTED includes special appearances with Debbie Allen, George Faison, Chita Rivera, Camille A. Brown and Thomas F. DeFrantz and showcases the works of the Nicholas Brothers, Pepsi Bethel, Jack Cole, Katherine Dunham, Bob Fosse and Gene Kelly.

Social Art-ivism: Black Panther Culture, From Oakland to the World

Pamela Mays McDonald, Art Activist, Art Historian, Curator

Tuesday, February 28, 6:30 PM  
UA Poetry Center, Rubel Room | 1508 E Helen Street

“Yesterday’s histories unravel today’s mysteries.” With those words as her motto, Pamela Mays McDonald explores Black culture through language, music, visual and performing arts, literature, poetry, fashion, ritual, and spiritual expression. 

Mays McDonald is a former fine arts museums director and community organizer from San Francisco and Oakland, California, who currently resides in Philadelphia. A graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, California, she studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and completed her Masters and PhD studies in Linguistics in Washington DC as a Georgetown University Graduate Fellow.

Her professional museum career was launched as a Smithsonian Institution Doctoral Fellow. In San Francisco, she had a hand in the envisioning, rebuilding, and opening of five popular museums: the de Young, Legion of Honor, Asian Art Museum, Museum of Performance and Design, and Museum of the African Diaspora. 

Sponsored by Arizona Humanities