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December 07, 2022

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Students show off talent at the MTSU’s 3rd annual "Showtime at the Apollo" (MTSU file photo by Cat Curtis Murphy)

MTSU Celebrates Black History Month

All Black History Month events except the Unity Luncheon are free and open to the public.

“Black Love: Health, Wellness, Relationships” is the theme of this year’s Black History Month celebration throughout February at MTSU.

To kick off the festivities, the Black History Month Committee will provide information about the month’s lineup and provide refreshments, including cake, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, in the Intercultural and Diversity Affairs Center, Room 330 of the Student Union.

The featured events include “Dr. Jackie” Walters, a cast member of Bravo’s Married to Medicine, delivering the keynote address at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 28 in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union.

Walters, an obstetrician-gynecologist and two-time breast cancer survivor, practices at Comprehensive Women’s OB/GYN, which has locations in Duluth and Dunwoody, Georgia. She earned bachelor’s degrees at Alcorn State University and the University of Mississippi and obtained her medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

Among other highlights will be the “Reading the Black Experience” month-long community reading project beginning Feb. 2; the Color the Runway Fashion Show from 7 – 9 p.m. Feb. 11 at the Student Union; and “Showtime at the Apollo” student talent content from 5 – 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Tucker Theatre, as well as a health and wellness panel, two movie series and other events.

The John Pleas Faculty Award will be presented at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the James Union Building. This annual honor, which was established in 1997, goes to a Black faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching, research and service.

Five stellar members of the Black community will be appreciated for their lifetime accomplishments at the 26th annual Unity Luncheon at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, in the second floor ballroom of the Student Union. This year’s featured speaker will be Sekou Franklin, an associate professor of political science and international relations.

The event, which has been a staple of Black History Month since 1996, pays homage to “unsung heroes.” This year’s honorees are:

Elma McKnight, retired educator, Murfreesboro City Schools (Education); Thomas Keith, MTSU alumnus, longtime track and field coach (Excellence in Sports); Carl E. Watkins, retired Murfreesboro police captain, youth volunteer (Advocate of Civility); Melbra Simmons, media office coordinator, True Blue TV, and committee member, Tennessee Girls in STEM Conference (Community Service); and Robert Orr Jr., Murfreesboro artist (Commitment to Black Arts).

Tickets are available online only until Thursday, Feb. 3, for $20 for students and $35 for nonstudents. A table of eight is available for $280. Tickets may be purchased at bit.ly/mtunity22.

See the full calendar of events and more event details at mtsu.edu/aahm/calendar.php. For more information, contact Daniel Green, director of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs, at 615-898-2831 or daniel.green@mtsu.edu.