Statement by the Afro-American Cultural Center on Black History Month

The Afro-American Cultural Center is holding its second annual Celebration of Black Life to close out Black History Month. This annual celebration honors the histories and examines current realities of the African Diaspora. Moreover, the speakers and presentations will highlight the many ways that people of African heritage have positively contributed to our campus, our nation, and our world.

This year’s closing event will feature a presentation from students who attended a conference held this past fall on the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party. Each presentation will offer the perspective of each participant on this political movement, based on their experiences at the conference. The students will examine the connections between historic and contemporary social movements that strive to protect black and other underrepresented communities. A part of their presentation will also offer an overview of the Black Panthers’ social services (for example, their breakfast program, which was adopted by the federal government; free health clinics and ambulance services; and elder care) and of their complex past, including the 1970 Black Panther trials held in New Haven.

The Afro-American Cultural Center is one of four student centers in Yale College. Founded in 1969, the Afro-American Cultural Center provides programming and support related to the experience of students from the African Diaspora.