African American History Month

2020 Theme: African Americans and the Vote

African Americans and the VoteThe year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War.The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote.

This theme has a rich and long history, which begins at the turn of the nineteenth century, i.e., in the era of the Early Republic, with the states’ passage of laws that democratized the vote for white men while disfranchising free black men. Thus, even before the Civil War, black men petitioned their legislatures and the US Congress, seeking to be recognized as voters.

Tensions between abolitionists and women’s suffragists first surfaced in the aftermath of the Civil War, while black disfranchisement laws in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries undermined the guarantees in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments for the great majority of southern blacks until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The important contribution of black suffragists occurred not only within the larger women’s movement, but within the larger black voting rights movement. Through voting-rights campaigns and legal suits from the turn of the twentieth century to the mid-1960s, African Americans made their voices heard as to the importance of the vote. Indeed the fight for black voting rights continues in the courts today.

The theme of the vote should also include the rise of black elected and appointed officials at the local and national levels, campaigns for equal rights legislation, as well as the role of blacks in traditional and alternative political parties.

Black History Month Events

Black History Month Dinner Celebrating our Students

Date: February 7, 2020
06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Location: Setzer Center Live Oak Ballroom

We will honor our Black/African American students who achieved academic excellence and leadership here at Lamar University.

"If Beale Street Could Talk" Film Screening

Date: February 17, 2020
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Price Auditorium

Join us for a special free screening of If Beale Street Could Talk! The film is an adaptation of a novel by the same name written by James Baldwin, a poet, essayist, and activist whose work included the gay liberation movement and civil rights.

If Beale Street Could Talk chronicles a family trying to prove the innocence of Alonzo before his child arrives.

Book Lecture with Dr. Jeff Forret - "Williams' Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and His Cargo of Black Convicts"

Date: February 18, 2020
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Reaud Events Space, Reaud Admin Building

History Professor Jeff Forret will discuss his just-released book, Williams’ Gang: A Notorious Slave Trader and His Cargo of Black Convicts

Social Stressors on Young Black Men and Relevant Experience

Date: February 18, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Library 8th Floor

Characterizing Parabolic Subsets from Involutions

Date: February 21, 2020
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Location: Lucas Building, Room 119

Samuel Ivy, assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, will present the Characterizing Parabolic Subsets from Involutions. This exposition focuses on the algebraic and combinatorial structures of symmetric spaces of Lie groups emphasizing the action of involutions on the underline root systems (and Lie algebras). The characterization of the orbits of parabolic subgroups acting on these symmetric spaces involves the action of both the symmetric space involution on the maximal real-split tori (and their root systems) with an opposing involution. This work characterizes the resulting parabolic subsets within the corresponding root systems.

Black History Kahoot

Date: February 25, 2020
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Monroe Kitchen

Students are invited to compete for prizes in a special black history trivia game night.  Free food will be provided.


Just Mercy: Movie Showing with Discussion Panel

Date: February 28, 2020
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Neches, Setzer Student Center 

Cardinals Activities Board and the Division of Global Diversity, Inclusion, & Intercultural Affairs are proud to present a special free showing of Just Mercy.  A discussion will follow.  Free food will be served.   

Event sponsored by Cardinals Activities Board 


Connecting with Cardinals Featuring African American Students