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The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center welcomes our new and returning students for the 2017-18 academic year.  We hope this year will be both successful and exciting for our entire Vanderbilt community.  Please come by the Center early and often as your time permits for interesting cultural programming, great food, and fellowship.  Also, visit this site often for programming announcements and updates throughout the year.



Vanderbilt University is rich with the history of African Americans since Joseph Johnson became the first to attend the university.  In addition to the many current events highlighted on this page, please visit the Black History Alumni Spotlight page to learn more about African American students who changed the campus landscape and enhanced Vanderbilt University as one of the top institutions in the world. You may also wish to visit our Celebrating Change website for even more highlights celebrating the legacy of African Americans at Vanderbilt University.



next at the BCC…

The Path to Financial Freedom:
A Two-Part Series

Part Two
Tuesday, April 17th • 7:30 PM
Black Cultural Center
(Food served)

The BCC, REVAMP and NBMBAA present “4:44 The Path to Financial Freedom”, a two-part series of workshops and presentations centered around financial literacy and wealth building. The workshops will cover various topics, including but not limited to, Debt Elimination and Credit, Budgeting and Saving, as well as Investing. The goal of this program is to provide participants with a  foundational understanding of these topics to best prepare for life after college.  Assistant Dean of Students and Director of the Black Cultural Center, Dr. Rosevelt Nobel will facilitate the discussion.  Food served.  For more information go to

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The Black Cultural Center and its many gracious co-sponsors would like to thank you for your participation in our Mega-Black History Month schedule.  We hope you enjoyed each and every program you were able to attend .  Please continue to visit this site for more great BCC programs during Women’s History Month in March through Commencement Week in May.  Please scroll down to review the entire month of Black History Month programming and download our full BHM Calendar.  These downloadable calendars make for nice wall posters.



BCC Black History Month Kickoff
12:00 PM

Join us for great food, fun, music, and fellowship as we kick off a month of great Black History Month activities at the BCC!  Music by Nature’s Drummers and food by Savor the Flavor.

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In My Lifetime:  An African American Perspective
Omari Booker
Opening Reception:  3:00 – 7:00 PM

An exhibition by Nashville studio artist Omari Booker, whose works include themes of social justice and Nashville’s changing neighborhoods, will be on display at Vanderbilt Divinity School throughout the month of February.

“In My Lifetime: An African American Perspective” is located in the Divinity School’s Art Room, G-20. An opening reception with the artist will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. Feb. 1.

The exhibition will be open weekdays—with the exception of Tuesdays—from noon to 2 p.m. through Feb. 28.

Click here for additional information.

Peabody College Dean’s Diversity Lecture
The Criminalization of Black Girls
4:00 PM
Wyatt Rotunda

Monique W. Morris, an award-winning author, and social justice scholar is the featured speaker for the next installment of the Dean’s Diversity Lecture Series at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development.

Morris is the author of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (The New Press, 2016). Her lecture, “Schools for the Soul: Bringing Healing to Our Children’s Learning,” will be held Thursday, Feb. 1, at 4 p.m. in the Wyatt Center Rotunda (1930 South Drive, Nashville, TN 37212). The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. RSVP recommended as seating is limited.

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First-Gen Fridays
“I am a Trailblazer” Social
12:00 PM in 327 Saratt

Calling all First-Gen Students and Graduates! Join the Office of Transition Programs as we launch First Fridays, an opportunity for first-gen students to build community and celebrate each other. Our first event will be on Friday, February 2nd from 12:00 – 1:00 pm in 327 Sarratt. Bring your lunch and come meet some fellow first-gen students and graduates! We hope to see you there!

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Africa at a Crossroads
Edutainment: A Roundtable Discussion
3:10 – 5:00 PM at the BCC

Music, entertainment and political violence in Africa: A roundtable on the role of arts and entertainment in conflict transformation.

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BCCA & Hillel Joint Service Project
Community Cares Fellowship
8:45 AM

VIBE Annual Showcase
6:30 PM
Langford Auditorium


Kappa Alpha Psi “Game Time” Viewing
5:00 PM
114 Furman


10th Annual Murray Lecture
The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and
the Legacy of American Bigotry
by Linda Gordon
12:00 PM
Commons MPR

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Click here to go to the website for additional information.

Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities
2018 Black Atlantic Lecture

White Southern Identity and the Haitian Revolution
4:10 PM
Black Cultural Center
Co-sponsors:  Penn Warren Center, Black Cultural Center, Department of English, and Center for Latin American Studies.


African Dance Class
6:00 PM

Afro-Modern dance class led by Windship Boyd.

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School To Prison Pipeline Discussion
Wednesday, February 7th • 12:00 PM

The “School to Prison” pipeline refers to increasing school policies that drive many young people, particularly our students of color into a pathway that begins in school but sadly ends in the criminal justice system.  Discussion lead by Dr. Rosevelt Noble, BCC Director.  Sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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African American History Month
at the Central Library
Scott Ellsworth
4:10 PM
Community Room, Central Library

A lecture related to little-known African American sports history will lead off a series of events celebrating African American History Month at the Central Library. On Feb. 7, historian Scott Ellsworth will discuss his research uncovering a secret basketball game played between segregated teams during World War II. Ellsworth’s talk will begin at 4:10 p.m. in the Community Room.

Click here for additional information.

“Let your Anchor Down”
Mental Health in the Black Community
6:00 – 8:00 PM
335 Sarratt

Co-sponsored by Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC) and Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence (IICC).

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Nate Marshall, ’12
Resiliency Through Poetry
Poetry Workshop and Reading
3:00 PM Workshop • BCC Seminar Room
7:00 PM Reading • BCC Auditorium

Nate Marshall, ’12 will conduct a poetry workshop and later read from his new book Wild Hundreds. Co-sponsored with the Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.

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This Side of the Water:
Haiti and Life in the United States
Edwidge Danticat
5:30 PM • Reception – 6:00 PM • Lecture
John Seigenthaler Center at the First Amendment Center

Vanderbilt’s Center for Latin American Studies will host a public lecture featuring Haitian American author Edwidge Danticat on Feb. 8 at the John Seigenthaler Center at the First Amendment Center.

The event, titled “This Side of the Water: Haiti and Life in the United States,” will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed Danticat’s presentation at 6 p.m. and a question-and-answer session moderated by Assistant Professor of History Celso Castilho. Admission to the lecture is free, and seating is first come, first served.

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Black History Matters Trivia Challenge
12:00 PM
BCC Auditorium

In celebration of African, Caribbean, and African American history, join us as students and organizations compete in this challenge of black history facts and trivia!  Co-sponsored by the Caribbean Student Association, Black Student Association, and the African Student Union.

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Owens Black Student Association Meet and Greet
4:00 PM – 6:00 PM
BCC Auditorium


LGBTQI & BCC Service Project
9:00 AM

Joint community service project between BCC and LGBTQI Life at Bell Garden Nashville.

Harambee:  Back to Blackish
7:00 PM
Langford Auditorium
Sponsored by the African Student Union


Black Girl Fest
1:00-4:00 PM
Parental Supervision Required

In celebration of Black women, Vanderbilt University’s African Student Union, in collaboration with various organizations, will be holding Black Girl Fest. This event is meant to showcase the attributes that characterize black girl excellence, while simultaneously promoting mentorship with neighboring high schools, career development, and community strengthening with other college students and professionals in the Nashville area. Black Girl Fest will include a main exhibition containing a range of presentations by local professionals and organizations, multiple side panels on the topic of career planning and self-branding, and recreational events for all attendees to enjoy. Parental supervision is required. The consent form for minors under the age of 18 can be found here:

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Multicultural Student Organizations Fair
2:00 PM
Commons MPR

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BCC Townhall:
Male/Female Relationships @ BlackVU
6:00 PM
BCC Auditorium

A discussion on the state of Black female/male relationships in Black VU.

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Documentary:  Whose Streets
Viewing and Discussion
6:30 PM in the BCC

Join us for a discussion on the documentary “Whose Streets.” Co-sponsored with the Ingram Commons and Medicine Health and Society (MHS).
Food will be served.

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Black Cinema – Love & Basketball
6:30 PM
BCC Auditorium

Co-sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Black Student Association, and the Black Cultural Center Ambassa’Dores.

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Black History in Nashville
Brown Bag Lunch
Thursday, February 15th • 12:00 PM
Co-sponsored by MLC

Queer People of Color Social
Thursday, February 15th • 6:00 PM
Black Cultural Center

Co-sponsored by LGBTQI Life and the Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.

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Black History at Vanderbilt
12:00 PM
BCC Auditorium

Co-sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

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MLC Semi-Formal
9:00 PM – 12:00 AM
University Club

Cultural celebration with great music, dancing, and fellowship.


2:00 PM
BCC Auditorium

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Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. presents
Black Panther Movie Private Screening
6:00 PM

Sign in at Branscomb Lounge begins at 5:00 P.M.  Buses leave from Branscomb at 6:00 PM.

Co-sponsors:  The Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, Organization of Black Graduate and Professional Students, Vanderbilt Student Government, Black Cultural Center, African American and Diaspora Studies.

Click here for sign up information.

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Black Panther:  Blackness Through a Comic Book Lens
Panel Discussion
12:00 PM
BCC Auditorium

Sponsored by African American and Diaspora Studies.

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Perry Wallace Birthday Celebration
and Strong Inside Reflections
12:00 PM
335 Sarratt
Co-sponsored with IICC

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An Evening with Margot Shetterly
Hidden Figures:  The Untold Story of the Black Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
4:00 PM
Lecture and Q and A.
Sarratt Cinema

Book signing and reception immediately following.  For more information, email the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at

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Redefining Tokenism
An Innovative Look at Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
12:00 PM
Wond’ry (Lunch Provided)

Co-sponsored with Ingram Commons and the Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.

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Africa at a Crossroads
Unexpected Consequences:  Women and Power in Post-Conflict Africa
3:10 PM
BCC Auditorium
Featuring Aili Tripp, University of Wisconsin.

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Wilhemina’s War
6:00 PM
BCC Auditorium

Join us as we screen the film Wilhemina’s War and discuss HIV.  Co-sponsored by the Women’s Center, VUMC HIV Vaccine Program.  Also, on this date, Project C.O.P.E. will do free HIV testing starting at 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM in Sarratt 216/220.

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Be-You-Nique Photo Shoot
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Stop by the BCC between 12-5 PM for a free Black Girl Magic t-shirt.  Then take a photo in your shirt along with ONE item that captures a unique aspect of your identity as a Black female.

Co-Sponsors:  Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence, Vanderbilt Athletics, Callie House Research Center for the Study of Global Cultures and Politics, Inclusion Initiatives and Cultural Competence, Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center.

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AVBA Retreat


Confidence • 101 Workshop
8:30 AM-1:00 PM

Join us for our half-day conference and empowerment retreat for Black women.  The sessions are completely free for Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff, and alumni.  The facilitator of this workshop will be Chantelle Anderson, former professional athlete and award-winning medical sales representative turned confidence coach.  Chantelle specializes in helping others build the confidence they need to get what they want.  Chantelle’s joy is infectious and she leaves others inspired and equipped to succeed.  Co-sponsored with Vanderbilt Athletics.

Breakfast and lunch provided.  RSVP to

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Black Girl Magic Game Recognition
2:00 PM
Memorial Gymnasium

Participants in the Be-You-Nique photo shoot on 2/23 will receive a free ticket to the Vanderbilt Women’s Basketball game.  Black Girl Magic participants will be recognized on the court during the game.  Co-sponsored with Vanderbilt Athletics.

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AVBA Retreat


BSA Annual Black Affair
6:00-8:00 PM
SLC • Sponsored by the Black Student Association

A celebration highlighting the achievements of Black students at Vanderbilt along with faculty and staff who helped to enhance their experience.


F.O.R.U.S. (Focused Opportunities Reaching Underrepresented Students)
3:00 Pm – 6:00 PM
Student Life Center

Career fair designed to bring together underrepresented students, major companies, and career opportunities.  Hosted by VU Chapter of NBMBAA.

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IICC End of Month Kickback
11:30 AM
335 Sarratt

Black Girl Magic Exhibit Opening
12:00 PM

Join us for great soul food and the opening of the Black Girl Magic photo exhibition in the BCC.  The exhibit will be on display through the month of March which is Women’s History Month.

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View Family Welcome & Harambee March Video • August 19, 2017