February is Black History Month, and Seminary of the Southwest celebrated by “Tracing Our Roots,” honoring the legacy of African Americans in the U.S. and confronting the future of race in the country and the church with several events that spanned the whole month.
The celebration began on January 31 with Southwest’s Black Alumni Dinner and the opening of an art exhibit by local non-profit, The One Human Race. The group created the ‘Austin Story’ in print for the Southwest campus campus, and the artwork remained displayed in the Weeks Center all throughout February.
On February 11, The Rev. Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan, PhD, delivered the Black History Month keynote in Knapp Auditorium. Kirk-Duggan, the Seminary’s Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence, gave a speech entitled “The Seductive Web of Deceit: Facing White Supremacist Patriarchal Misogyny,” which was followed by a Q&A and a dessert reception.
Watch Kirk-Duggan’s address below:
All throughout the month, the seminary hosted special community hours on Monday afternoons. Mondays at 4PM, students, faculty, and staff gather in the Maddox Lounge to socialize and snack. This February, the community hour was highlighted by the One Human Race art exhibit, the Black History Month display at the library (along with online LibGuide), and with a jazz performance on February 24. The musicians comprised of Seminary students and staff, and they played several jazz and blues songs including numbers by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Nat Adderley.
The month wrapped up with the Celebration Service on February 27. The Rev. Randy Callender delivered a moving sermon at the Eucharist and musician Ian Spencer performed at the service and the following dinner.
Black History month is a February tradition that Southwest celebrates every year, but works to honor the legacy of African Americans and work toward racial reconciliation throughout the year.