Black Legacy

Dear Africana Community,

We at the Africana Center hope that you were able to find space to rest in the midst of a tumultuous political transition. It has not gone unnoticed that there have been several events in recent weeks around the country that have created additional stress and anxiety for communities of color. While there are many uncertainties, we are here to support you as the country looks to move forward under new leadership.

As we prepare for you to return to campus over the next week, we want to acknowledge the upcoming celebration of Black Excellence. For over 50 years, the Africana Center has been a major contributor to Tufts University's Black History Month festivities. Every February, we join together as a community of students, faculty, and staff to recognize and celebrate the achievements of Black leaders around the world, past and present.

As we continue to build upon the work that has been done over the past several decades to create quality programming and honorable acknowledgement for pioneers in the Black community, we are looking to reframe the way that we celebrate our rich culture and history. Traditionally, February has been called Black History Month and we will continue to honor this branding. However, the term history has carried the connotation of only pertaining to the past and provides a static understanding of the events and people that we recognize. While there may be a date and time that we use to memorialize some part of our past, we would like to also honor the realized implications of that past. Legacy is defined as something handed down by a predecessor. When we place context from our history around our present, we gain a clearer picture of how we are connected to the legacy of our ancestors. Thus in 2021, The Africana Center would like to slightly reframe Black History Month to Black Legacy Month in an effort to connect our past to our present, and hopefully lay the infrastructure to connect our present with our future.

Moving into the month of February, we will continue to honor the acknowledgement of Black History Month while also incorporating what we will call Black Legacy Month into our programming. For this inaugural celebration, our theme will be Black Legacy Month: Rooted in the Past, Blooming in the Present, Thriving in the Future. We welcome members of the community to join to use either titles for the work that will be happening, however we will focus heavily on legacy and will continue to impress upon the Black Legacy even after February. In the spirit of unity, we look forward to embarking on this ongoing journey with you all.

Best,

The Africana Center Staff:
Katrina Moore, Director
Montez Paschall, Associate Director
Sylvester Bracey, Program Administrator
Irene Mutwiri, Graduate Intern