Black History at Sam

February is referred to as multiple things, the shortest month, the love month, American Heart Month; but the most famous is Black History Month.

This year at Sam Houston State University for Black History Month there have been multiple events taking place in celebration. These events are being directed by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; planned by Director of Graduate Studies in History and Associate Professor of History Jeffrey Littlejohn.

This year for Black History Month there was a special screening of the documentary film “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution.” The film aired this past Monday, February 20, at 5:30 in Academic Building 4(AB4).

“[The film] will serve as the opening salvo in a week-long look at the Panthers and their attempt to overturn the system of racial oppression in America.” Littlejohn said.

This documentary, by Stanley Nelson, took seven years to be created and was the first film to focus on the movement of the Black Panthers. Stanley Nelson is an award-winning filmmaker with 20 years of experience, his films primarily cover the lives and experience of African Americans throughout history.

The film also holds interviews with 30 members, and archived footage never seen before.

For those who are unaware of who the Black Panthers are, they were a revolutionary black nationalist organization founded in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. They served to protect minority communities from the government, the organization lasted into the mid 80’s.

Lastly, the film covers the covert surveillance program, COINTELPRO, used by J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI to take down the movement.

“Key figures in the movement, including Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen Cleaver, and Fred Hampton are featured in the film.” Dr. Littlejohn said.

On Tuesday, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and its Diversity and Inclusion Committee will host Mary Phillips, who will discuss “The Social Justice Work of Ericka Huggins in the Black Panther Party” at 4 p.m. in CHSS Building Room 110. The lecture series is part of the CHSS’s Black History Month activities, and refreshments will be served.

Then, on Thursday, guest lecturer Jakobi WIlliams will present a talk, “Black Panthers: Here and Abroad”, at 5:30 pm in AB4. CHSS and the CHSS Diversity and Inclusion Committee are sponsoring the event.

For those who also find these topics and this section of history interesting do not miss attending these remaining events.

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