African American History Month Events
By Jacqui D. Sinarle
No matter where you live in the Stanislaus region you can join Americans throughout the country in celebrating African American history.
African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, was originally celebrated as Negro History Week in 1926 to encompass the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and expanded to African American History Month in 1976.
In 2018, Modesto Junior College students and local high school students are encouraged to attend the African American Education Conference sponsored by Associated Students of Modesto Junior College on Feb. 23 at the Mary Stuart Rogers building on MJC’s west campus, 2201 Blue Gum Ave., Modesto. Lunch will be provided and the event is free. The conference will feature a keynote speaker who will address the importance of education, and there will also be breakout workshop sessions so students can learn about more specific topics in an intimate session. For more information, call 209-575-6700.
MJC is again hosting the annual Martin Luther King Commemoration, coordinated by the Modesto Peace Life Center, in MJC’s Main Auditorium of the Performing and Media Arts Center on the east campus, 435 College Ave., Modesto. This year’s event will be held on Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. and admission is free. The featured speaker will be Dolores Huerta, a civil rights activist and pivotal figure in the United Farm Workers Union. For more information, call 209-529-5750 or 209-575-6866.
The King-Kennedy Board of Directors will present a Black History Month event at the King-Kennedy Center, 601 Martin Luther King Dr., Modesto (date and time to be announced). For information, call 209-568-3643.
In addition, an annual luncheon in recognition of Martin Luther King will be presented at the King-Kennedy Center. The event will feature a speaker and the public is invited to attend. Cost is $20 per person (pre-registration and tickets required in advance). Call 209-568-3643 for information.
Sankofa Theatre Company, which promotes African American history, life and culture through performing arts, is organizing a program to present during Black History Month in February with date and venue to be announced. For information, visit www.sankofatheatreco.org or Sankofa Theatre Company on Facebook.
The NAACP Modesto-Stanislaus branch is planning a Meet and Greet Membership Drive in February 2018. For more details, contact Maria Quijalvo at 209-896-9196 or visit www.naacpmodestostanislaus.org.
California State University, Stanislaus, will also present one or more events on its Turlock campus. For information, visit the CSUS website at www.csustan.edu.