University Libraries, The Center partner to celebrate Black History Month

Virtual Trivia Night, Feb. 11, and virtual documentary film screening of “The Last Angel of History,” Feb. 12. All students welcome to participate.

African-American woman holds a child, both wearing face coverings, at the George Floyd protests June 2, 2020, Charlotte, NC. Image courtesy of Unsplash.com

A woman and child at the George Floyd June 2, 2020, Charlotte, NC

University Libraries, The Center partner to celebrate Black History Month

Virtual Trivia Night, Feb. 11, and virtual documentary film screening of “The Last Angel of History,” Feb. 12. All students welcome to participate.

A woman and child at the George Floyd June 2, 2020, Charlotte, NC

African-American woman holds a child, both wearing face coverings, at the George Floyd protests June 2, 2020, Charlotte, NC. Image courtesy of Unsplash.com

A woman and child at the George Floyd June 2, 2020, Charlotte, NC

The University Libraries along with The Center Every Student. Every Story. have partnered to honor and celebrate Black History Month. A co-sponsored Virtual Trivia Night event is planned for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8 p.m., along with a virtual documentary film screening of “The Last Angel of History” on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. The theme for these Black History Month events is AfroFuturism.

“Most Black History Month events tend to focus on slavery or Civil Rights,” Jody Lykes, Ph.D., coordinator of the African Diaspora program said. “We have never gone here before as a theme and I look forward to exploring Black history through a different lens.”

AfroFuturism explores Black people's relationship with science-fiction, technology, and the future. As a theme, it investigates the African diaspora in a world beyond tomorrow. It is one of nine categories to be featured at the Virtual Trivia Night event. It is also the theme of the documentary film screening of “The Last Angel of History.”

Jody Lykes, Ph.D., coordinator, African Diaspora program
Jody Lykes, Ph.D., coordinator, African Diaspora program

“The music and artistry in the film provide a fun way to investigate and study Black history,” Lykes said. “All interested are welcome to contact me and attend! These events are going to be welcoming and really fun.”

“This week has been rocking!” he added.

Lykes said the idea of looking back to move forward is important when considering Black history.

“Where can we go from this moment?” he said. “Let’s look back, make connections and get creative with how we bring about the change we wish to see."

Virtual Trivia Night - AfroFuturism

The University Libraries Outreach Committee organizes Trivia Night events for students each semester.

Portait of a library staff, Tati Mesfin
Tati Mesfin, University Libraries Outreach Committee chairwoman and Instruction Librarian

For Black History Month the Libraries Outreach Committee decided to team-up with The Center. AfroFuturism is one of nine categories to be featured at the Virtual Trivia Night event. All University students are welcome to participate.

A Zoom link will be shared with registered participants once they contact Tati Mesfin or Jody Lykes Ph.D. to register.

Once registered players can join on Zoom in teams of up-to-five. Each player can sign up with their team name (if they have one already), or sign up without a team and be assigned to one.

“The Libraries Trivia Night is a great way to meet new people and learn something new, even if it’s virtually for now,” University Libraries Outreach Committee Chairwoman and event co-organizer Tati Mesfin said. “We are very excited to partner with Jody and The Center for these safe and virtual student outreach events!”

“The Last Angel of History”

Students interested in exploring the theme of AfroFuturism are invited to participate in a documentary film screening of “The Last Angel of History” on Friday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. The Libraries Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, along with the Libraries Outreach Committee and The Center will host this virtual screening.

“The Last Angel of History” is a 45-minute documentary, directed in 1996 by John Akomfrah. It was written and researched by Edward George of the Black Audio Film Collective. It deals with concepts of Afrofuturism as a metaphor for the displacement of black culture and roots.

The Chicago Reader describes the film as, “A meditation on black consciousness whose dense, almost chaotic weave of images and ideas offers space travel and science fiction as metaphors for the experience of the African diaspora.”

Words Have Power book display

Words Have Power book display poster. Words Have Power. Join University Libraries in Celebrating Black Culture of the Past, Present and Future. University Libraries. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com
Words Have Power University Libraries Outreach Committee Black History Month Book Display poster

The University Libraries Outreach Committee has also organized a Black History Month Book Display. The Book Display is titled, “Words Have Power.” Books on display celebrate Black culture of the past, present and future. The 2-D physical display is located on the second floor of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center and is available for browsing during normal business hours. Library users with a valid University NetID can access both physical and digital resources featured in this book display. A list of eBooks is available online via NevadaBox.

Books included in this display include, but are not limited to: “Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture," by Ytasha Womack; "The New Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness," Michelle Alexander; "Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements"; "Black Madness: mad Blackness," Therí Alyce Pickens; "Race, gender, and citizenship in the African diaspora: traveling Blackness," by Manoucheka Celeste and many others.

Celebrating Black History Month 2021

Lykes said interest in Black History Month events have been really high this year. He shared his excitement for virtual trivia night and the film screening.

“This year feels different,” Lykes said. “We always have received support during Black History Month, but this year …we have never had a Black History Month like this. There has been such great energy around this month and what it means. Following the summer of protest so many have worked to create networks of communication and some are taking root.

“People genuinely want to learn and grow. We are all realizing how serious it is to be Black. It’s been made known. This is, in my opinion, a positive outcome of the aftermath of all of the protests.”

About the University Libraries

The University Libraries embrace intellectual inquiry and innovation, nurture the production of new knowledge, and foster excellence in learning, teaching and research. During each academic year, the Libraries welcomes more than 1.2 million visitors across its network of three branch libraries: the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library and the Savitt Medical Library. Visitors checked-out more than 80,000 items and completed more than 2 million database searches.

About the University Libraries Outreach Committee

The University Libraries’ Outreach Committee recommends, develops, and delivers programming for the University Libraries, targeting University students. The Committee’s objectives are to engage students, coordinate efforts happening throughout the Libraries, explain services and collections in a fun way, and further the Libraries’ Vision and Mission.

About the University Libraries Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

As part of the University Libraries’ mission, this committee is intended to promote and improve the organizational culture, collaboration with campus partners, and services to students. In this purpose, we are committed to: Diversity: Advocating for the understanding and positive impact of diversity in the Libraries staff, collections, exhibits, services and spaces. Equity: Meeting people where they are and working toward equitable policies and practices of fairness, justice, equal access and equal opportunity for all people. Inclusion: Helping lead the University Libraries to a place where differences are welcomed, different perspectives are respectfully heard and where every individual is valued and feels a sense of belonging.

About The Center Every Student. Every Story.

The Center Every Student. Every Story. (The Center), is a critical hub of cultural, LGBTQIA, gender-focused services, programs, and social justice initiatives that support student success and increase graduation rates of students at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Center empowers students to be innovative colleagues in creating a better-integrated community at the University and beyond.

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