Check out upcoming MCC virtual events that celebrate and honor Black history.
We recognize and celebrate the dedication and accomplishments of MCC employees.
Learn about the origins of Black History month and view a timeline of historical Black events.
Explore resources for Black History celebration.
Celebrate With Us
In celebration of Black History, Mesa Community College (MCC) presents Black History 2021 - Year of Recognition. MCC will honor the achievements of Black people past and present by hosting events from February through December 2021. We hope you will join us!
By celebrating the entire year vs a single month of February, we will have a greater opportunity to reflect on Black history and culture, further acknowledge and learn about the trauma of historical and modern injustices, and find ways to move forward as a community.
We invite you to participate and engage in each of the events and programs listed below.
Each month we will explore the impact Black Americans have made in areas such as our local community, entrepreneurship & STEM, education, film and arts; politics & law, and much more.
Black History and Pride Month
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson Documentary
Wednesday, June 16 from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm
In honor of the Black History Year at MCC & Pride Month, we will be viewing a documentary about Marsha P. Johnson. Marsha was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. She was a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind.” We will have a discussion after the documentary. Please register to receive directions on how to login for the Netflix Party - tinyurl.com/marshapjohnson2021.
We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Erick Tanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org
African American Music Appreciation Month
Music: A Glorious Art That Moves Your Soul
Thursday, June 24 from 11:15 am-12:45 pm
Join Event: https://tinyurl.com/AfricanAmericanMusic
June is African American Music Appreciation Month. Join us for a discussion with Professor Rod Golden, MCC Sociology faculty, on the many contributions of African American singers, composers, and musicians who have shaped music and inspired social change.
We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Beth Ann Wright at email@example.com.
We will share the accomplishments of African American employees who have advanced diversity, equity, and inclusion at MCC and/or excelled in their area of expertise.
This month we are highlighting the accomplishments of Sheba Jones and Anthony Griffith.
Sheba Jones, RDH, MSDH AP- Adjunct Faculty in the Dental Hygiene Department
Sheba Jones is an adjunct faculty member of the Dental Hygiene program at Mesa Community College- Red Mountain campus. She has been a practicing registered dental hygienist for nearly 19 years.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she was raised in the heart of Phoenix, by a single mother. Sheba lived in public housing and grew up as a child recipient of many public health programs. There was a severe underrepresentation of minority professionals. Sheba recognized that representation is fundamental in serving as an advocate for minority communities, as well as, mentoring or inspiring others who may be considering a career in healthcare or education.
Sheba spent some time living on the east coast where she earned an Associate of Science in Dental Hygiene from Mount Ida College, and was immediately motivated to obtain her Bachelor of Science from Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene -MCPHS University.
Read more about Sheba
Anthony Griffith, MS Elementary Education., BS Criminal Justice & Planning Reading – Faculty, Reading Department
Dr. Anthony Griffith is a Reading Residential Faculty member at MCC and has been at MCC since 2013. He currently teaches Successful College Reading and College Critical Reading and Critical Thinking courses and serves on the eLearning and OER committees.
Prior to MCC, he served on the Rio Advisory Board and the Great Schools, Great Leaders Committee Task Force of Arizona. Dr. Griffith earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and Planning from John Jay College of Criminal Justice with a focus in Sociology, a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from Hofstra University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and instruction (Language and Literacy).
Learn more about Dr. Griffith
Black History Month is celebrated every year in February across the nation. Surprisingly, it was 20 years in the making. Harvard-educated Dr. Carter G. Woodson, author of the Miseducation of the Negro, sought to change race relations by “promoting the scientific study of black life and history." In 1915, Carter attended a celebration hosted by the state of Illinois, commemorating the 50th anniversary of emancipation. It was a three-week celebration that honored and shared the accomplishments of Black people since emancipation from slavery.
Carter believed if society could be educated about the intellect, ingenuity, and hard work Black people contributed to society; race relations would improve. He created The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and later The Journal of Negro History in 1916 to dispel the myths about Black people.
In a desire to reach people of all classes of society and extend the February celebration within Black communities around Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays, the ASNLH created Negro History Week in 1926. The goal was to offer lessons for school children and local communities about the achievements of Black people. As an educator, Dr. Carter knew Lincoln had not freed the slaves, but rather the Union army comprised of Black servicemen. The celebration of the everyday Black citizen is whom Carter desired to celebrate come Negro History Week.
Black organizations and citizens across the nation took up the charge to celebrate Black achievements. Carter’s fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, created a Negro History and Literature Week in 1924. Educator and activist, Mary McLeod Bethune, created the widely circulated Negro History Bulletin in 1937. By the 1940s, Blacks in West Virginia began celebrating Negro History Month. In 1976, Carter’s Association extended Negro History Week to one month. Since then American society has celebrated Black History Month each February to commemorate the achievements of a group of people who despite the obstacles, continue to dream, imagine, create and contribute. Let’s celebrate!
Timeline of Historic Events:
|1619||The first African American indentured servants arrive in the American colonies. Less than a decade later, the first slaves are brought into New Amsterdam (later, New York City). By 1690, every colony has slaves.|
|1739||The Stono Rebellion, one of the earliest slave revolts, occurs in Stono, South Carolina.|
|1793||Eli Whitney’s (1765 – 1825) cotton gin increases the need for slaves.|
|1808||Congress bans further importation of slaves.|
|1831||In Boston, William Lloyd Garrison (1805 – 1879) begins publication of the anti-slavery newspaper the Liberator and becomes a leading voice in the Abolitionist movement.|
|1831-1861||Approximately 75,000 slaves escape to the North using the Underground Railroad.|
|1846||Ex-slave Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895) publishes the anti-slavery North Star newspaper.|
|1848||Augustus Saint Gaudens (1848 – 1907) is born in Ireland. His family soon emigrates to the United States.|
|1849||Harriet Tubman (c. 1820 – 1913) escapes from slavery and becomes an instrumental leader of the Underground Railroad.|
|1857||The Dred Scot v. Sanford case: congress does not have the right to ban slavery in the states; slaves are not citizens.|
|1860||Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) is elected president, angering the southern states.|
|1861||The Civil War begins.|
|1868||The 14th Amendment is ratified, defining citizenship. This overturns the Dred Scot decision.|
|1870||The 15th Amendment is ratified, giving African Americans the right to vote.|
|1879||Thousands of African Americans migrate out of the South to escape oppression.|
|1887||Augustus Saint Gaudens unveils the “Standing Lincoln” statue in Lincoln Park, Chicago.|
|1897||Augustus Saint Gaudens unveils the Shaw Memorial in Boston Common.|
|1954||Brown v. Board of Education case: strikes down segregation as unconstitutional.|
|1955||In Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005) is arrested for breaking a city ordinance by refusing to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. This defiant act gives initial momentum to the Civil Rights Movement.|
|1957||Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929 – 1968) and others set up the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a leading engine of the Civil Rights Movement.|
|1964||The Civil Rights Act is signed, prohibiting discrimination of all kinds.|
|1965||The Voting Rights Act is passed, outlawing the practices used in the South to disenfranchise African American voters.|
|1967||Edward W. Brooke (1919 - 2015) becomes the first African American U.S. Senator since Reconstruction. He serves two terms as a Senator from Massachusetts.|
|1968||Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.|
|2008||Barack Obama (1961 - ) becomes the first African American to win the U.S. presidential race.|
|2021||Kamala Harris (1964 - ) becomes the United States' first female vice president, the highest-ranking female elected official in U.S. history, and the first African American and first Asian American vice president.|
To celebrate Black History Month, we suggest the following resources:
Black Minds Matter series - Black Minds Matter is designed to raise the national consciousness about issues facing Black students in education.