UHart Celebrates Black History Month

January 29, 2024
Submitted By: Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement
Black History Month Graphic

February marks the celebration of Black History Month, a time to honor and reflect upon the rich heritage, remarkable accomplishments, and contributions of African Americans. It serves as a poignant reminder that Black history is an integral part of the broader tapestry of American history, urging us to embrace inclusion throughout the year.

The origins of Black History Month trace back to Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a prominent author, historian, and journalist. In 1925, he founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) and established "Negro History Week" in 1926. The week included the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and in 1976 evolved into the month-long celebration we now know as Black History Month.

In 1967, and throughout his life, Dr. King chose community, hope, and love over chaos and despair, writing, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” This year’s theme for Black History Month is LOVE: Hate Is Too Heavy A Burden To Bear. We hope this theme will help us focus on our commitment to embrace the diversity that exists amongst us and to foster a UHart community that strives for the principles of inclusive excellence, equity, and belonging.

Acknowledging the diversity within the terms "Black" and "African American," we recognize that individuals may identify differently. We aim to celebrate broadly and inclusively, encouraging each person to proudly claim the racial identity that best resonate with them.

As we celebrate Black History Month both on campus and beyond, we invite you to engage in various programs organized by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, and the Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion.

Please see program listing below:

Annual MLK Program
Jan. 31, 12:45 p.m.
Lincoln Theater

“Love: Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear” – A Conversation with Religious Life Leaders
Feb. 7, 12:45 p.m.
Shaw Center

Some Blues, Some Jazz and Soul Food – the Cookout Edition
Feb 9, 6 p.m.
Konover Great Room

The Divine Nine with the Hartford Hawks—Men’s and Women’s Basketball Doubleheader
Feb. 10, 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. ($35)
Sports Center

Trap & Paint
Feb. 10, 8 p.m.
Konover Great Room

Student Panel: Domestic Violence Awareness
“Love: Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear”
Student Panel: Love Should Not Hurt – A Conversation on Dating and Domestic Violence
Feb 14, 12:45 p.m.
Shaw Center

Affinity of Color Luncheon
Feb. 21, 12:45 p.m.
The Commons Private Dining Room

Black Student Union (BSU) Fashion Show: “Memorable Milestones”
Feb. 24, 5-9:30 p.m.
Lincoln Theater
*all proceeds benefit the BSU Book Fund

Curt Flood’s Challenge to Baseball’s Reserve Clause
Wednesdays, February 21 and 28, 12:30–2 p.m.
Greenberg Center/Harry Jack Gray Center
UHart faculty/staff/students wanting to attend for free in honor of Black History Month, please contact Laurie Fasciano at to register. 

“Love: Hate is Too Great a Burden to Bear”—A Peace Vigil
Feb. 28, 4 pm.
GSU Lawn
*Hawk Lounge inclement weather option

Black Student Union (BSU): Blazing Trails for 60 Years
April 26-28, 2024

Additionally, explore resources that deepen your understanding of Black history through a TED Talk Playlist exploring Black identity and culture, as well as exhibits from the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Reading List:

  • Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez. Nunez explores different facets of belonging in this novel. The main character, Anna, confronts her roles as a Black woman, a daughter, and a businesswoman.
  • Cane by Jean Toomer (1923)

Toomer uses different literary forms to represent the joys and pain of Black people living in the South. He explores the topics of race, religion, and creativity.

  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (1952)

Invisible Man is considered by many to be a masterpiece of American literature. When it was published, it was met with praise, but also criticism from some of Ellison’s fellow writers. For today’s readers, the novel defines the time in which it was written. Many of its themes continue to speak to the present moment.

  • Passing by Nella Larsen (1929)

Larsen probes the meaning of belonging in her well-known novel. The main characters are faced with the dilemma of choosing to live in Black communities, or “passing” for white.

  • Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson (2019)

Woodson moves readers through several generations of characters in this novel. Each character struggles to “belong” at the intersection of various identities, such as between Blackness and womanhood.

The Center for Racial Justice in Education has a wonderful reading list and Black History Month resource guide.

Community Event:

Thursday, February 8—"A Legacy Revealed, The Dream Reimagined.” Sponsored by the Urban League of Greater Hartford.  Register


At UHart, our commitment to inclusive excellence is founded on the principles of equity. We believe in respecting and welcoming everyone in our community, allowing all voices to be heard and thrive. As we embark on this month-long celebration, we invite you to join us in embracing the diversity that enriches our community.