Black Cultural Center


The Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center welcomes our new and returning students for the Fall Semester of 2016.  We hope this academic 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.

next at the BCC…

Thursday, September 1st • 12 noon
Sarratt 216/220

Associate Dean of Students Frank Dobson will address the racial rhetoric which moves within media and society.  Additionally, he will address various theories and methods for how reconciliation must be the goal of diverse communities.

Please Note: This is a bring your own lunch event, with beverages provided.

Friday, September 16 • 12Noon
BCC Auditorium         


Voices of Africa:
African Choral Ensemble

The Voices of Africa will debut at the BCC and will also perform at Nashville’s 34th Annual African Street Festival, September 16-18 at Hadley Park.
(Co-Sponsored with Nashville’s African American Cultural Alliance)


Wednesday, September 7th – 7:30 PM
Belcourt Theater


This film revolves around four Independent filmmakers, who venture to a small country town for a film festival and a promising meeting with a movie executive when they are tossed in jail for a heinous crime, but no one remembers the events from that night.  Presented by, Dr. Frank Dobson, Associate Dean of Students; Director, Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center; Faculty Head of Gillette House, The Ingram Commons, and Phillis Sheppard, Associate Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture.
English subtitles. 52 minutes.  

If I Grow Up

“If I Grow Up?”, an exhibit by Omari Booker will open on Friday, August 26, 2016, at 12:00 p.m. at the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University.  “When I grow up”, is a phrase that is commonly used by children as they dream of the careers they will pursue as adults. Many dream of becoming doctors, policemen, firemen, NBA players, and many other things.  Most never imagine that they may never achieve their goals or make it to adulthood. As black children grow up, the way society views them changes drastically.  Many go from being seen as children to being seen as a threat.
Sadly, many black children are now saying, “If I grow up?” rather than, “When I grow up” when they consider their futures. “If I Grow Up?” will explore the climate of our country as it relates to race, law enforcement, and mass incarceration through the eyes of Black children as they grapple with the identities they possess and the identities they are given by society.  Omari Booker’s work reflects his affinity for realism, but abstractions can also be found.  Oil paintings are Omari’s predominant medium, but charcoal, chalk pastels, and acrylic paintings are essential building blocks of his work, and are often finished pieces.
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Omari Booker

This exhibit will display at the BCC from August 26th – September 18th from 8AM-5PM, Monday-Friday.

Bishop Joseph Johnson
Receives Further Vanderbilt Honor