Black History Month at UH Hilo: Films, performances, lectures, soul food

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is holding several events during Black History Month.

In honor of Black History Month, UH Hilo will sponsor a free private screening of the film, Hidden Figures, on Saturday, Feb. 4. Details below.

Black History Month

Black History Month was established to recognize and celebrate the contributions of African Americans, and to remember profound African American leaders who have left behind a legacy that has inspired many. It also provides an opportunity to reflect upon the history and culture of people of African Heritage.

The Civil Rights Movement, which benefited all under-represented minority groups, evolved from the aspirations of African Americans and the need for this population to be recognized and included as vital members of society. In spite of this, the future that was envisioned by civil rights leaders and their communities has not materialized or reached a level of equity among these groups which is reflected in the ongoing institutionalized racism and discrimination that occurs in our society.

A cultural perspective

The events that have been planned this year at UH Hilo will provide a cultural perspective and opportunity for the institution, faculty, staff and students to learn about the achievements of African Americans and the impact they have made in our lives.


The theme for 2017 is “Black Women Breaking Boundaries” and the following events will be featured throughout the month of February.

Events (campus map)

Throughout the month of February.
Mookini Library.
Created by students, under the direction of Kerri Inglis, associate professor, Department of History.

FILM: HIDDEN FIGURES– FREE private screening (trailer at top of this post)
Saturday, Feb. 4.
Check in by 6:00 p.m.
Prince Kuhio Cinemas.
Limited Seating; Sign Up Required at SSC room 213.
Based on a true story, this film features a team of African-American women who provided NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s FIRST successful space missions. Introduction by Marianne Takamiya, associate professor and chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Thursday, Feb. 9.
6:00 p.m.
Wentworth, room 1.
This 2015 film tells the story of the legendary singer, pianist, and activist, Nina Simone, also known as the “High Priestess of Soul.” It includes rare archival footage and captures her public successes and private struggles.

Thursday, Feb. 16.
6:00 p.m.
Wentworth, room 1.
This is a documentary about the incomparable Maya Angelou. It is a moving tribute of her prolific life; as a singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, professor, poet and writer. The story includes her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her friendship with James Baldwin and work with Malcolm X in Ghana.


Wednesday, Feb. 22.
7:30-9:30 p.m.
UH Hilo Performing Arts Center
$12 Students/$30 General/ $25 Discount
Ivory Coast vocalist and dancer, Gnahoré has garnered a reputation as one of the most vibrant performers in world music. In 2010, she shared an award for Best Urban/Alternative Performance with India Arie at the 52nd Grammys For tickets call 932-7490 or order online.

Friday, Feb. 24.
11:30-1:30 p.m.
UH Hilo Campus Center Dining Hall.
Performance and open-mic invitation to poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and all forms of entertainment. Sign Up by emailing palsuhh[at] Soul food will be featured on the cafeteria menu.

Tuesday, Feb. 28.
12:30-1:45 p.m.
Student Services Center W-201.
Phoenix received her MSW from Howard University. She is a clinical therapist and ecotherapist with over 20 years of experience working in public health, social justice movements, African indigenous healing practices, LGBTQ advocacy, and teaching Mindfulness-Based therapies.

Planners and Sponsors of UH Hilo Black History Month events

The Planning Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and students from UH Hilo.

The co-sponsors include the UH Hilo Diversity Committee, the African American Organization, the Department of Art, Department of History, Department of Physics and Astronomy, the LBGQT+ Center, the Minority Access and Achievement Program, the Performing Arts Center, the Women’s Center, and University Dining Services.


Ginger Hamilton.

For more information, call (808)932-7461. For accommodations, contact the Disability Services Office: (808)932-7623 (V) or 932-7002 (TTY).