Texas Tech University

University Libraries Kicks Off Virtual Book Club Celebrating Black History

Amanda Castro-Crist

February 15, 2021

Black History Month

The event is one of several during February that educates the Red Raider community on the global Black experience.

Each year, Texas Tech University's Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DDEI) partners with the Black Student Association and other student organizations and departments across campus to observe Black History Month. Programming typically includes educational workshops, lectures and discussion panels; opportunities for community service, outreach and engagement; and a variety of social events that share the global Black experience.

"Black History Month commemorates the culture and contributions of Black people," said Nefertiti Beck, director of DDEI's Student Intersectional Leadership Council. "Our celebration at Texas Tech, not only reflects on the past, but also provides a genuine perspective of where we are today in hopes for a better future."

This year, the calendar includes several virtual events to accommodate COVID-19 safety guidelines, including a virtual book club hosted by the College of Education, University Libraries and several other departments and university partners.

The book club will focus on Barbara Ransby's book, "Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision," and will meet virtually for four consecutive Mondays, beginning today (Feb. 15), in honor of both Black History Month and Women's History Month, which begins in March. Those interested in accessing the book, meeting agenda and joining the conversation can register for the meetings on the library event page. There are 20 books available for students, faculty and staff through a partnership with DDEI and the Office of Institutional Diversity.

Additional events celebrating Black History Month include:

R.E.D. Talks: Raiders Engaged in Diversity
Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 16), via Zoom webinar.
Join panelists Carol A. Sumner, vice president of DDEI; Cory Powell, director in the Office of Institutional Diversity; Mychael "Myke" A. Solis-Wheeler, compliance coordinator in Accounting Services; and Beck for the February Staff Senate R.E.D. Talk, "Breaking the Noise: Where Are We At, Where Are We Going?" This talk will focus on Black History Month, social injustice fatigue, how to continue pursuing issues and how far we have come. To register for this R.E.D. Talk, click here.

Lubbock's Hidden Figures: A Conversation Highlighting the Intersectionality Within Our Community
7-8:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 18), YWCA Lubbock, 6501 University Ave.
The Texas Tech Black Student-Athletes Alliance will host a conversation highlighting intersectionality within the community. In-person attendance will be limited to panelists and Texas Tech student-athletes, but individuals will be able to watch the event via Texas Tech Athletics' Twitter and Facebook pages.

Texas Tech senior track and field athlete Kayli Johnson and Jessica Gray, the assistant athletics director for the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Leadership Academy, will moderate the discussion. Panelists include:

  • Carolyn Thompson, Texas Tech Lady Raider and Hall of Famer and current principal of Lubbock's Matthews Alternative High School.
  • Jerry Gray, Lubbock native, former four-time Pro Bowl selection and current defensive backs coach for the Green Bay Packers.
  • Chris Chambers, co-owner of Chambers Engineering in Lubbock and Vice-Chair of Community Development for the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
  • Raegan Higgins, an associate professor in the Texas Tech Department of Mathematics & Statistics and one of the first two African-American women to earn a doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Nebraska.
  • Sheila Patterson Harris, a former juvenile probation supervisor who is now the city councilwoman for Lubbock's District 2.

Deeply Rooted Conversations: Racial Battle Fatigue
2-4 p.m. Friday (Feb. 19), via Zoom webinar.
The Deeply Rooted Conversations series creates a space for faculty, staff, students and community members to learn about topics related to social injustice, privilege, diversity and inclusion to work toward social transformation within everyone's work on and off campus. To register for this Deeply Rooted Conversations: Racial Battle Fatigue, click here.

2021 African American History Month Lecture: "An Evening with Dr. Eddie Glaude Jr."
7 p.m. Feb. 25, via Zoom webinar.
Texas Tech welcomes Eddie Glaude Jr., New York Times best-selling author and chair of Princeton University's Department of African American Studies, as the featured speaker for the 2021 African American Lecture Series. A Q&A session will follow the lecture. To register for the African American History Month Lecture webinar, click here.

Glaude is a columnist for Time Magazine, an MSNBC contributor on programs like "Morning Joe" and "Deadline White House with Nicolle Wallace" and regularly appears on "Meet the Press" on Sundays. Glaude also hosts Princeton's African American Studies podcast, a conversation around the field of African American Studies and the Black experience in the 21st century.

For a complete list of events, visit the Black History Month website.