NCF’s Black History Month Goes Vir(tu)al

February 2021

This February, power up your computers and join New College of Florida for Black History Month workshops, events and performances.

Unless otherwise noted all events are free and open to the public.

Week 1: February 1st – 6th

sur la bay virtual celebration

Fri, Feb. 5  7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Here for Link!

The Sur La Bay Music Festival will bring artist performances and workshops into your living room.
A virtual celebration of Black music and culture, Sur La Bay Music Festival kicks off the Black History Month program at New College of Florida with an event full of joy! This festival will feature hip-hop, neo-soul, afro-punk, and percussive music artists as well as a dj spinning the latest dance music. Artists include: Greg Banks, Undine Shorey, Karim Manning, Hugo Viera – Vargas, and DJ KDubbz.

We will post the full schedule closer to the event.


Week 2: February 7th – 13th

Conversations on Race and Ethnicity: “A heritage of struggle on the florida gulf coast from angola to newtown, and beyond” with Dr. Uzi Baram

Mon, Feb. 8  6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

Our present is haunted by the silences of the past. Confronting racism and sexism through archival, archaeological, and oral history investigations has brought forward remarkable histories of freedom for the region around New College of Florida. This presentation surveys research and observations from the early 19th century marronage of Angola on the Manatee River through the mid-20th century fight for civil rights at Lido Beach. Across the Florida Gulf Coast is a heritage of Black struggle that built communities and can inspire the present, as it becomes better known.

Uzi Baram, Professor of Anthropology, has been a faculty at New College for more than two decades. Courses include
Method and Theory in Archaeology, Race and Ethnicity in Global Perspective, Colonial Encounters, Ancient North America, and Heritage: History and the Past Today. Research interests include the politics of the past, cultural heritage and rising sea levels, and anthropological critiques of racism. Professor Baram has published on the archaeology of the Ottoman Empire, the intersections of art and artifacts, heritage tourism, and the historical archaeology of Florida. As Director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab, Professor Baram offers a radical openness for public archaeology, partnering with local and descendant communities to reveal and understand the past in southwest Florida and providing research opportunities for all students at New College.

New Schools of Black Thought Symposium: Black Lives Still Matter!

This year’s symposium centers on the theme “Black Lives Still Matter!” To honor the realities of screen fatigue, we will space the events out over two days. As always, our symposium will connect artists, academics, and activists for deep conversation. The symposium will feature a keynote address, two panels, and an Open Mic night. One panel will focus on the local movements against police brutality, and the other on school discipline.

Symposium: “Justice and the Politics of Care” with Keynote presenter, Dr. Deva woodly, associate professor of politics, New school for social research

Fri, Feb. 12  6:00 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

The Movement for Black Lives is not only a social movement that seeks to end the lethal harm perpetrated by police and other disciplining apparatus of the state, it also offers a political philosophy that invites us to reconsider what constitutes justice and how we might achieve it. In this talk, Dr. Woodly explore the ways that the movement offers a guiding political philosophy that teaches us how to treat people as though they matter, providing us with a perspective that could be era-defining, if we chose to embrace it. 

Deva R. Woodly, PhD is an Associate Professor of Politics at the New School. She is the author of The Politics of Common Sense: How Social Movements Use Public Discourse to Change Politics and Win Acceptance (Oxford 2015). She has also held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton as well as the Edmund J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. Her research covers a variety of topics, from media & communication, to political understandings of economics, to race & imagination, & social movements. In each case, she focuses on the impacts of public discourse on the political understandings of social and economic issues as well as how those common understandings change democratic practice and public policy. Her process of inquiry is inductive, moving from concrete, real-world conditions to the conceptual implications of those realities. In all cases, she centers the perspective of ordinary citizens and political challengers with an eye toward how the demos impacts political action and shapes political possibilities. Her current book projects are Reckoning:#BlackLivesMatter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements, an examination of the ways that social movements re-politicize public life in times of political despair and What We Talk About When We Talk About the Economy, a broad investigation of American economic discourse and its implications for politics and policy in the post-Great Recession era. 

BHM Symposium: Panel events

Sat, Feb. 13  11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

Opening Remarks
11:00 – 11:15 a.m. 

Panel 1: Black Lives Matter, Local Organizing, and Protests
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

12:45 – 1:00 p.m.

Panel 2: Schools and Juvenile Justice
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

BHM Symposium: Open Mic Night

Sat, Feb. 13  7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon
More details coming soon! 
Lo-Fi Language Academy Workshop with alums Miles Iton, Donovan Brown, and Naeem Chowdhury

Week 3: February 14th – 20th

Community service conversation with Sa[u]ce Office

Mon, Feb. 15  6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon
Featuring Sarah Lapton, Dani McCalla, Jada McNeill.

More details coming soon!

Healing writing workshop: “Writing for the resistance: a writing Salon” w/ Dr. Emily Carr 

Wed, Feb. 17  5:00 – 6:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

In this writing salon, we’ll explore ways to creatively process what you’ve learned in the other Black History Month events you’ve attended, express feelings (like anger, rage, grief, fear, and anxiety) that make you feel uncomfortable, and use language as a tool for resistance.

In a lecture at the Free University in Berlin in April 1984 , to her seminar on Black Women’s Poetry, Audre Lorde once argued that: Poetry is perhaps the most subversive form of art there is because it intends to bring about change. Change in the deepest sense, which is concerned with feelings. Poetry comes out of feelings. It works with feelings, and it alters the very essence of our lives. Anything less than that is not poetry… Poetry helps bring shape to our visions of the future. Whether our visions agree is less important than us having a concept. If we are to have a concept, it must be of something that has not yet been, because obviously what we have has not gotten us very far. We are in the most dangerous times in human history, so there must be another way. Poetry begins to construct paths out of our dreams and hopes, out of our fears.    

Together, we’ll talk about strategies for constructing paths out of our dreams and hopes, out of our fears. We’ll share our visions of the future, and explore tools for shaping those visions on the page, as well as ways language can help us to bring about change in the deepest sense, which starts with our deepest feelings.

This salon is open to writers of all levels and experience; it is also open to folks who don’t self-identify as writers and who are curious about the ways language can nourish their endeavors both on and off the page. I’ll offer guided writing exercises and we’ll spend some time writing together and talking about our writing. Sharing is encouraged but optional; I welcome all forms of participation, even and especially listening.

Dr. Carr was the program director of the MFA in Creative Writing program at Oregon State University-Cascades. Emily’s fourth book, Name Your Bird Without A Gun: a Tarot Romance, is forthcoming from Spork in 2019. Recent literary magazine publications include poems in Prairie Schooner, So To Speak, and the Tampa Review and an essay in The American Poetry Review.

Black music and Literature listen-in: “The soundtrack of pan-africanism” 

Wed, Feb. 17  5:00 – 6:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

Dr. Hugo Viera-Vargas in Conversation with Dr. Errol Montes-Pizarro

As part of WSLR’s Black Lives Matter Takeover the Radio, this program will highlight the construction of the idea of “Africa” as an encompassing unit through musical genres that combine elements of various musical cultures of the continent without belonging exclusively to any of them. The program suggests that this culturally base Pan Africanism served as a foundation for political and philosophical Pan Africanism. However, it also had its own development that diverged from the explicitly political Pan-Africanism proposed by the movement’s founding theorists at the turn of the twenty century.

Errol L. Montes Pizarro is a native of Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico. He received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Cornell University in 1998. Currently, he is a mathematics professor and an affiliated researcher of the Interdisciplinary Research Institute of the University of Puerto Rico, Cayey Campus. In addition to his research in mathematics, he also studies the history of Afro-descendant music with an emphasis on the continuous exchanges between Africa and Afro-Caribbean cultures. Since October 2001, he has been producing the program Rumba Africana for Radio Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Campus Conversations: “Black Abolitionists and the politics of Race in the antebellum US” w/ Dr. Michael Gorup

Thurs, Feb. 18  6:00 – 7:30 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

It is today widely understood that ‘race’ is a product of society and not a fact of nature. But where did this idea come from? In this campus conversation, we will explore the ideas of the Black abolitionists David Walker (1796-1830) and Hosea Easton (1798-1837). More than a century before the emergence of the notion of a ‘social construction,’ these authors developed arguments fiercely rejecting naturalistic understandings of race. They instead suggested that the answer to the ‘puzzle’ of racial difference lay in politics, not nature.

With a Ph.D. in Government and a BA in Philosophy, Dr. Gorup teaches courses on U. S.
Constitutional Law and Freedom and Slavery in U. S. Political Thought. His current research project examines how and why the language of popular sovereignty has been mobilized to both entrench and contest racial hierarchy across the history of American political thought. Prior to joining the New College faculty, he taught in the Critical Writing Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Week 4: February 21st – 28th

Conversation on Race and ethnicity: “Suffrage as activism: black women’s movements for civil rights” w/ Dr. Janaka Bowman Lewis

Mon, Feb. 22  6:30 – 8:00 p.m. EST  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon

This talk will discuss Black women’s social, political, and literary efforts in the nineteenth century that led up to their involvement in Civil Rights efforts in the twentieth century.  Highlighting such women as Maria Stewart, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Anna Julia Cooper, and Ida B. Wells Barnett, I argue that the movement for suffrage began for Black women long before they were considered part of larger political processes as they identified relevant issues for Black women. I will discuss their oral and written platforms and participation in formal and community educational processes as the foundations that these women used to circulate social issues and then shape solutions for change.

Janaka Bowman Lewis, Ph.D is an associate professor of English, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program, and faculty affiliate in the Department of Africana Studies at UNC Charlotte. She teaches courses on 19th and 20th century African American women’s literature and African American archival and material culture.  She is the author of Freedom Narratives of African American Women (McFarland 2017), two children’s books, and is currently at work on a monograph, “Freedom to Play:  Black Girlhood and Narratives of Liberation,” that focuses on the significance of representations of African American girls and social engagement in literature from Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl to Angie Thomas’ 2017 novel The Hate U Give.

Healing Workshop: “Racial healing; building interracial coalitions for social change” A Soulcollage workshop facilitated by Radiah Harper

Thur, Feb. 25  Time TBD  l  Online Event RSVP Coming Soon
More details coming soon!

Radiah Harper is an artist and museum consultant with an extensive practice creating transformational experiences at the intersection of visual art, creative thinking, and social justice. The activity on Friday is designed to get everyone to explore and further understand their own empowering qualities. Radiah recently moved to Sarasota after retiring from the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

Black History Month at New College

New College’s annual Black History Month program rallies the campus community as we celebrate and explore the rich history, culture, and contemporary realities of Black people and communities. As an annual program, Black History Month at New College intentionally focuses on Black communities in the United States and abroad in order to highlight the complexity and multiplicity of blackness and Black experiences.

Established by the visionary work of Dr. Queen Zabriskie and four undergraduate students– Nasib McIntosh, Donovan Brown, Paul Loriston, and the late Ijeoma Uzoukwu–, the inaugural Black History Month program took place in February 2015. Working together, these individuals addressed a need on campus to illuminate, preserve, increase information about Black life for the campus community.

Since then, the committee has grown to consist of students, staff, faculty, and administrators who collaborate to bring the design and implementation of the program to life! The pillars of the annual programming include the Black Arts and Performance series, the Conversations on Race and Ethnicity public lecture series, the African Diaspora Film Festival, the Black Literature Read-in, the New Schools of Black Thought Symposium, and a display in the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. Additionally, the committee arranges opportunities to serve the surrounding community in partnership with various local schools and organizations. All events are appropriate for community members of any age and of many different interests. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

This year’s events are being sponsored by Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, the Humanities Division, the Social Sciences Division, and Sociology discipline at New College of Florida; the Andrew Mellon Foundation: New College Connecting the Arts and Humanities on Florida’s Creative Coast Grant; the Andrew Mellon Foundation: New College and the CCA in the Community Grant; New Music New College; and the Manasota Branch of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

  • Black History Month Events 2021