Black History Month: Afrofierce

Posted on February 01, 2021 by Dana Poleski

Black History Month: Afrofierce

This year, the Black Student Alliance chose Afrofierce for the theme of Black History Month, which represents “the fierce urgency of the moment to honor voices of the past, live in the present and guide our future,” says BSA leaders.

“This theme echos Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for the ‘fierce urgency of now’ highlighted at the March on Washington in 1963,” says the BSA. “We seek ways to encourage our College community to rise to the occasion of our contemporary moment. Our theme for the month aims to show how the voices of our ancestors continue to live in the present, while guiding us into the future, and more importantly, how to seize the moment to cultivate spaces of growth, love, truth and confidence. Afrofierce is the celebration of Black culture through various mediums such as the arts, media and literature.”

The Black Student Alliance has a comprehensive series of events planned for students and the campus community as well as six virtual events that are open to the public, including two guest speakers and a panel discussion on leadership, wellness and purpose. This special programming is designed to educate, celebrate and support the existence and excellence of the Black experience in 2021 and the years to come.

In addition to the in-person and virtual events, the Mary Helen Cochran Library has put together a resource page for Black History Month accompanied by a special display within the library.

Follow the Black Student Alliance on Instagram for stories, spotlights and to get to know the club members and activities throughout Black History Month!

The following events are open to the general public.

Weaving Together: Afrofierce
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7-8 p.m.
Join us as we kick off Black History Month with a conversation centered around the theme of Afrofierce and the celebration of Black culture through various mediums such as the arts, media and literature.

Love Series: Love Languages
Thursday, Feb. 11, 7-8 p.m.
Join us for a powerful conversation about love languages. We will explore what the five love languages are, how to discover your primary love language and how to navigate other people’s love languages. The five love languages are different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. We will discuss Black love and liberation and focus on love in its many facets and forms as it occurs in the Black community. The event will appreciate and discuss healthy love, non-heteronormative love, love languages and self love within the Black community. Register here.

Monday, Feb. 15, 7-8 p.m.
Join us for yoga and mindfulness practice with Liberty O’Donnell. We will explore elements of Kemetic yoga: an Egyptian system of yoga that involves physical movements, deep breathing techniques and meditation and emphasizes the philosophies of self-development, healing of mind-body-spirit and self-discovery. Register here.

Community Connections: Lessons in Leadership
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 7-8 p.m.
Join us for a dynamic panel conversation on leadership, wellness and purpose. We will explore the realities of Black academia, diversity, equity and inclusion in higher education; the importance of wellness; and the importance of consuming space, discovering purpose and inspiring confidence. Register here.

Wanjiku “Wawa” Gatheru: The Path Towards a Just Climate Future
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Wawa joins us for a discussion on the four steps this generation must take to ensure a truly just climate future. Wawa is an environmental justice advocate, writer and current graduate student at the University of Oxford. She is a first generation American of Kenyan descent and the first Black person in history to receive the Rhodes, Truman and Udall scholarships. She works to uplift the voices of those most adversely impacted by environmental inequities and has been recognized as a 2020 Young Futurist by The Root, a 2020 Grist 50 FIXER, a 2020 Glamour College Woman of the Year and has spoken at events across the country. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Human and Environmental Sustainability. Register here.

James “Trae” Watkins, III: Hip-hop Pedagogy, The Inescapability of Blackness
Thursday, Feb. 25, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Trae is the former assistant dean of students and coordinator of equity and inclusion at Virginia Episcopal School. He will lead a dive deep into the creative elements of the most influential culture in the world to explore activism against the re-emergence of Jim Crow, modern-day slavery and the effects of colorism in the African American community. His presentation will analyze lyrics, imagery and the influence of historical Black leaders on hip-hop heroes, including Jay-Z, Sista Souljah, NWA, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Meek Mill and more. Enjoy a culturally relevant approach to the fusion of Black history, hip-hop, and social activism. Register here.

The following events are open to students and the campus community (register through Sweet Briar’s internal LibCal):

Blackout Tuesday
Every Tuesday in February
Blackout Tuesday is dedicated to honoring the Black lives that have been lost as well as celebrating Black culture, experience and being.

Heal ‘n’ Paint
Friday, Feb. 5, 7-8 p.m.
Heal ‘n’ Paint is an event focusing on collective stress relief and healing through artistic expression. With music, fun conversations and a blank canvas each person will paint a picture centering around their interpretation, perspective or expression of Afrofierce. At the end of the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to share their work through social media to inspire healing through art and connection through community. 

‘Zine Making: Design Your Own Future
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 7-8 p.m.
Come make some audacious, bold ‘zines that tell your story and imagine new futures. Using historic images of the past and drawing inspiration from newspapers and art work, create a mini-magazine that represents the past, present or future. Participants will have the option to donate a copy of their zine to a collage. 

Kinks and Kurls
Friday, Feb. 19, 7-8 p.m.
Join us for a celebration of hair. We will explore the diverse varieties, textures, styles and types of hair. We will focus on how to wear your crown loud and proud. Free gift for attendees.

Spoken Word Night
Saturday, Feb. 20, 7-8 p.m.
Join us for an evening of spoken word poetry, workshops and an exploration of the power of one’s voice. More details to come.

Cookie Decorating: Rep Your Flag
Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7-8 p.m.
Join BSA, LatinX and GLOW and decorate a cookie that reflects you! Design your flag, express your passions, showcase your brilliance. Cookies and icing will be provided. Don’t forget to post pictures of your cookies and tag BSA, LatinX and GLOW.

Scavenger Hunt
Friday, Feb. 26, 7-8 p.m.
Join the Sustainability Club and BSA for a scavenger hunt. Explore the unique landscape of our campus with the opportunity to receive a prize at the end.

Trap Karaoke
Saturday, Feb. 27, 7-8 p.m.
Do you love to sing in the shower? Are you a fan of 90s classics and gospel? End Black History Month right by joining Sweet Briar’s Earphones club for singing, dancing and cheering on your friends as they sing their heart out.