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2020 Miss Black OSU being crowned
Keona Tidwell is crowned Miss Black OSU in February, 2020.

OSU gearing up for Black History Month events

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Oklahoma State University is celebrating Black History Month with a full slate of events aimed at promoting cultural understanding and honoring Black icons throughout history. 

“Celebrating our Black History Month at OSU is an important part of our overall commitment to broadening and deepening our understanding of cultures,” said Dr. Jason F. Kirksey, OSU’s vice president and chief diversity officer for institutional diversity. “We’re excited to have a robust set of events that students and staff have worked on.”

Student organizations, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Center for Africana Studies collaborated to present and host 22 events during February.

Events such as the Afro-Am Meet and Greet/Black History Trivia, We are the Future of Agriculture, a candlelight service honoring the civil rights pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis and more will be sprinkled throughout the month. 

A speaker series will provide avenues for deeper discussion with the voices of poet and OSU-Tulsa professor Quraysh Ali Lansana, OSU assistant professor of English Andrew R. Belton and OSU political science associate professor and director for the Center of Africana Studies Erica Townsend-Bell. Newly sworn-in Rep. Mauree Turner will also be featured on OStateTV to discuss their time at OSU and path to becoming an Oklahoma state representative. 

Open all month is the Edmon Low Library Digital Black History Month Exhibit. Presented in collaboration with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the exhibit focuses on Black history in Oklahoma.

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum will visit the OSU campus on Feb. 17. The museum features 7,000 artifacts dating from the slave trade to present day, all focused on preserving the legacy of Black history.

Tika Johnson, coordinator of African American Affairs in the Office of Multicultural Affairs, said planning the month was a rewarding and unifying experience across campus as different departments worked together to present programming. Her hope is that it promotes a lifelong learning of other cultures.

“I would like this to serve as an introduction, not an ending, to what it means to be a lifelong learner and step out of one’s own comfort zone and experience other cultures and backgrounds,” Johnson said.

Discussions covering the CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) and mental health awareness will be held during  Black History Week (Feb. 22-27).

On Feb. 27, the 51st Miss Black Oklahoma State University Scholarship Pageant will close the month’s events. 

Kirksey encourages all students, faculty, staff and the community to participate in the events and enjoy the enriching experience of viewing history through a different cultural lens. 

“This month is important to recognize what it looks like to fully integrate American history to cover all aspects, including Black history, that has brought us to the place we’re at today,” he said. “Black history is also American history.”

All live streamed events can be accessed on OStateTV. For more information, schedule details and Zoom links, visit the Office of Multicultural Affairs website at

STORY BY: Kylee Sutherland | Communications Intern

MEDIA CONTACT: Mack Burke | Editorial Coordinator | 405.744.5540 | 

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