February 8, 2023

Activities on Hackettstown campus celebrate Black history, culture, and literature and encourage dialogue on important issues including racism and colorism.

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ, Feb. 6, 2023—Centenary University will mark Black History Month with a series of historical displays, events, and film screenings designed to celebrate Black history and culture, as well as to encourage dialogue about important societal issues including racism and colorism.

The month began on Feb. 2 with an evening of soul food, music, and games to highlight the culinary traditions of West Africa, Western Europe, and the Americas. Students learned that the cuisine originated in the deep south, but the comfort of soul food and the delicious recipes traveled with millions of African Americans as they moved to the North, Midwest, and West during the Great Migration.

Upcoming Black History Month activities include:

Dialogues & Deeds: Colorism, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7:30 pm, Board Room, David and Carol Lackland Center. Colorism is prejudice or discrimination against individuals based on skin tone, often among people of the same ethnic or racial group. Colorism is racism and its effects in our society are felt by those in our community and should be recognized. Dialogues & Deeds creates a safe space for students, faculty, and staff to participate in civil discussions about topics that are important and relevant to students.

Cent Cinema: Till—Thursday, Feb. 16, 8 pm, The Little Theater, Edward W. Seay Administration Building. Screening of the 2022 film, which focuses on the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. The movie shares the true story of Mamie Till Mobley’s pursuit of justice. As Mamie turns her grief into action, the audience witnesses a mother’s ability to change the world.

Dialogue & Deeds: Urban Trauma, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 8:30 pm, Student Activities Center, Edward W. Seay Administration Building. Maysa Akbar coined the phrase “urban trauma” in 2017 with her book, Urban Trauma: A Legacy of Racism. Poverty, overcrowded housing, poor physical health, poor mental health, violence, and drugs perpetuate trauma in urban areas. The effects of that trauma must be carried throughout life. While some people are able to break the cycle, others are not. Sharing experiences and discussing urban trauma is a way to recognize the trauma and help break the ongoing cycle.

Harlem Nights – Thursday, Feb. 23, 8 pm, Front Parlors, Edward W. Seay Administration Building. An elegant evening that pays homage to African American history and culture, including a cocktail hour, formal dinner, and entertainment.

Cent Cinema: Emancipation—Tuesday, Feb. 28, 8 pm, The Little Theater, Edward W. Seay Administration Building. Released in 2022, Emancipation tells the story of Gordon, a Black slave who runs away and journeys through Louisiana swamps to live a life with honor and dignity. He risks his life to join the Union Army and fight to free his brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters.  

Friday Film Club—Fridays in February & March, 2 pm in The Multicultural Room, Edward W. Seay Administration Building. Art is one of the most powerful tools to influence social change and popular culture. Films, as an art form, are current and easily accessible for students. The Friday Film Club allows the campus to participate in powerful conversations that help to build community:

·      Friday, Feb. 10—Two Distant Strangers 

·      Friday, Feb. 17—Monster 

·      Friday, Feb. 24—Just Mercy 

·      Friday, March 3—Hidden Figures 

Black History Book Display, month of February, Taylor Memorial Library. Display of Black history book collection at Centenary University’s Taylor Memorial Library. Open to the public.


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township.

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