Black History 2022 - Year of Recognition

Upcoming Events

Check out upcoming MCC virtual events that celebrate and honor Black history.

Employee Spotlight

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 2022 - Year of Recognition. MCC will honor the achievements of Black people past and present by hosting events from February through December 2022. 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.

Upcoming Events

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.

An "Untold Story" of Undeniable Truth

An Untold story of Undeniable Truth

Cultural Sciences Faculty Prof. Golden will interview Dr. Anthony Griffith, Reading Faculty, about his matriculation in this "thing" we call life and his philosophy on education.
Date: Tuesday, February 1, 2022 @ 1:30 PM
In-person location: SC 16, Southern & Dobson campus

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

Black History Month Recognition Basketball Game

Black History Month Basketball Game

Mesa Community College will highlight Black History Month as MCC Basketball takes on the Glendale Gauchos! The women's game tips off at 5:30 pm and the men's game will tip-off at 7:30 pm in the Theo Heap Gymnasium at the Southern & Dobson campus. Join us for half-time performances, BSU recognition, and giveaways!
Date: Wednesday, February 16, Women’s game: 5:30 pm, Men’s game: 7:30 pm
Location: Theo Heap Gym at MCC Southern & Dobson

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

Black History Month Living Library

Living Library showcases humans as books, who engage in conversation with their readers as they tell their stories.
Date: Wednesday, February 23 and Thursday, February 24, 2022
Register for a session here: link coming soon

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

BSU Club Meetings

Black Student's Union is a space in which students can discuss topics of race and other areas of social justice. Students of all backgrounds are welcome to attend meetings and events.
Meetings: Every other Friday from 2 PM - 3 PM in BP-4 or virtual
February 4, February 18, March 4, April 1, April 15, April 29
Advisor: Greg Reents | 480-461-6392 | Click here to join
BSU club website:

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 Greg Reents at

View Past Events

Employee Spotlight

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.
  • Congress passes another Fugitive Slave Act, which mandates government participation in the capture of escaped slaves.
  • Boston citizens, including some of the wealthiest, storm a federal courthouse in an attempt to free escaped Virginia slave Anthony Burns (1834 – 1862).
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.
  • Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation proclaims that all slaves in rebellious territories are forever free.
  • Massachusetts 54th regiment of African American troops led by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (1837 – 1863) marches out of Boston on May 28th, heading into combat.
  • The Civil War ends.
  • Lincoln is assassinated. Seventeen-year-old Augustus Saint Gaudens is so moved by the sight of Lincoln’s body lying in state that he views it twice.
  • The 13th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting slavery, is ratified.
  • The era of Reconstruction begins.
  • The “Black Codes” are passed by all white legislators of the former Confederate States. Congress passes the Civil Rights Act, conferring citizenship on African Americans and granting them equal rights to whites.
  • The Ku Klux Klan is formed in Tennessee.
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.
  • The era of Reconstruction ends.
  • A deal is made with southern democratic leaders which makes Rutherford B. Hayes (1822 – 1893) president in exchange for the withdrawal of federal troops from the South and puts an end to efforts to protect the civil rights of African Americans.
1879 Thousands of African Americans migrate out of the South to escape oppression.
  • Tennessee passes the first of the “Jim Crow” segregation laws, segregating state railroads.
  • Similar laws are passed over the next 15 years throughout the Southern states.
1887 Augustus Saint Gaudens unveils the “Standing Lincoln” statue in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
  • Plessy v. Ferguson case: racial segregation is ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court.
  • The “Jim Crow” (“separate but equal”) laws begin, barring African Americans from equal access to public facilities.
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.