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Monday, March 4, 2024

Highlights from this year’s Black History Month

The Davis community hosted an array of events celebrating Black History Month

By CHRIS PONCE — city@theaggie.org

As Black History Month comes to an end, the Davis community organized many events to empower Black voices this month. These events, both on and off-campus, ranged from film premieres to celebrations of beauty and art. As the last few days of February approach, more events are still occurring towards the end of the month. 

The UC Davis African American Faculty and Staff Association (AAFSA) held events and meetings throughout the month that were advertised on their website. On Friday, Feb. 18, Dr. David Cooke, the vice chair for faculty development and wellness and chief for the Division of General Thoracic Surgery, spoke about lung cancer’s effect on the Black community. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, there was a digital screening of “100 Years From Mississippi” along with a Q&A hosted by AAFSA. On Thursday, Feb. 10, AAFSA hosted an event with Dr. Candice Price on her groundbreaking findings regarding insulin sensitivity linked to sex and racial differences. 

A long list of non-UC Davis organized events also occurred this month. On Sunday, Feb. 20, The Old Sugar Mill hosted its third annual Black History Month Art & Crafter’s Show. The event showcased multiple Black artists and featured live music and food. Event Director Rachelle Wiggins spoke on the event being back in person following the pandemic.

“We are back and really are focused on making this event bigger and better than ever,” Wiggins said. “We have over 25 artists that will be showcasing their art.” 

When asked what people should take away from this year’s Black History Month, Wiggins said, “the beauty in the artists and the unity,” and “the unity of all of us coming together to showcase and put together a people presentation.”  

In partnership with Black Lives Matter Sacramento, Our Streets Coalition will be hosting a celebration titled “Black History (every) Month Celebration!” on Saturday, Feb. 26. This socially distant celebration will feature “music, food, and activities,” according to a Facebook post made by the group. The event, located at 3229 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in Sacramento, will last from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM. Masks are required. 

Freddie Griffin, a U.S. Army 101st Airborne combat veteran who served in the Vietnam war, organized “Salute with Honor and Respect – Black History Month.” The event is detailed in an Eventbrite post, “Join us to Salute and Honor our Black Veteran Heroes.” A long list of respected veterans will be speaking and in attendance. This free event is open to the public as long as registered via the eventbrite post. 

On Sunday, Feb. 27, a film premiere of “The Talk” will occur at The Guild Theater, with a discussion following the film. The premiere is hosted by Journalist Ed Fletcher. In addition to the film, a Black media panel and live Q&A with the cast and crew will occur. 

“The Talk” showcases an African American family giving their child a talk about their race and how the world can view them. Director D’Adonis Moquette described how this film is relatable for many Black individuals in the U.S. 

“This intimate moment between a parent and their African American son about how to be safe in the world when it deals with race,” Moquette said. “Living as an African American in America a lot of people that are in that kind of situation can relate to this talk. I believe it is something that the majority of minority children, possibly African American children specifically,  go through with their parents. For me personally, I’ve had this talk several times throughout different times of my life.” 

Moquette said he wants audiences to “Come in and leave with an open mind. This film was made specifically for everyone,” Moquette said. “One thing we’re kind of missing right now in the world is empathy,” and his films seek ”to close that gap.”

Tickets for the premiere can be purchased on Eventbrite. When asked what Moquette wants people to take away from this year’s Black History Month, he focused on the diverse contributions Black people have made to the U.S. 

“We are more than just Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcom X [in] that we have contributed to society more than our hardships that we’ve had,” Moquette said. “We are inventors, creators, more than just entertainers as well.”

Written by: Chris Ponce — city@theaggie.org


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