Black History Month Kickoff Celebration


Kenya Zarate

As a part of the Black History Month Kickoff, Evelyn Cooper, owner of Lott’s of Art presented a Fashion Show featuring students from the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Black Student Union.

As part of the Black History Month Events, the TAMU-CC Black History Month Committee and the Islander Cultural Alliance hosted a kickoff event on Tuesday, Feb. 1. The kickoff celebration highlighted local Black businesses, guest speakers, and poetry readings. 

Dr. Clarenda Phillips, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, began the celebration by reminding the audience that Black History Month should not only be a monthly celebration, but rather a celebration that lasts 365 days. 

“I would say we celebrate Black excellence because we spend too much time listening to negative messages and internalizing negative messages,” Dr. Phillips said. “But there is no world history, there is no U.S. [United States] history without Black History.” 

The event proceeded with the performance of the Black National Anthem performed by Ms. Dawn Davison-Marshall, a TAMU-CC Alumni, followed by a presentation on the creation of Black History Month and soul food by Dr. Le’Trice Donaldson, Assistant Professor of History. 

“When Dr. Carter G. Woodson and his organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, started Negro History Week in 1926, they started to bring attention to African achievements,” Dr. Donaldson said. “They chose the second week of February because it coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, Feb. 12, and Frederick Douglass, Feb. 14. Things went so well with the various activities that they continued it the following year. As younger, more militant members joined the organization, they changed the name to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. The celebration expanded to Black History Month in the 1970s. Black History Month was founded in part to dispel misinformation about African people. While this is still necessary, Africans have documented their history through both written and oral traditions for centuries. One of those traditions they preserved culturally was that of soul food.”

For more information on Black History Month events, visit