University of Detroit Mercy to observe Black History Month with variety of events

 February is Black History Month and University of Detroit Mercy (Detroit Mercy) is celebrating with a series of in-person and virtual programming on the McNichols Campus. 

Dorothy Stewart, associate dean of students and chair of Detroit Mercy’s Black History Month planning team, hopes members of the University community gain a better appreciation for the surrounding community through these events. 

“We designed Black History Month activities to allow an exploration of Black-owned businesses through the food truck experience and learn more about the cultural diversity of the community through the tours,” Stewart said. “Professor Finkenbine will explore historical perspectives and provide an author to broaden our current perspectives.” 

Below are details for Detroit Mercy’s Black History Month events.

• Tuesdays and Wednesdays in February 

Food truck lunches 

Sacred Heart Square (location on McNichols Campus subject to change) 

Enjoy a tasty lunch as local, Black-owned food trucks visit the McNichols Campus. Multiple trucks will be included, headlined by On The Run food truck on Tuesdays and Durden’s Catering’s The Gripper food truck on Wednesday.

• Tuesday, February 1 

Observing World Hijab Day 

World Hijab Day was first celebrated in 2013 to encourage religious tolerance, as women of all religions and backgrounds are invited to wear and experience the hijab for a day. University Ministry and the Muslim Student Association, co-sponsors for Detroit Mercy’s observance of World Hijab Day, will host a photo challenge on Instagram, where the University community can submit photos of themselves wearing a hijab, and a virtual discussion about the meaning of the hijab. 

• Monday, February 7, 7 p.m. 

Virtual book talk: Clint Smith on How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America 

Clint Smith, a staff writer at The Atlantic, will talk in a webinar about his recent book, which examines how the collective history and memory of the United States’ slaveholding past shapes our nation today. The book has been recognized as one of the 10 best books of 2021 by The New York Times, and bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi says it “frees history, frees humanity to reckon honestly with the legacy of slavery.” 

The webinar is free and open to the public. Those interested in participating must register in advance.

Smith’s talk is co-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Education, African American Studies, the Black Abolitionist Archive and the Student Life Office. 

• Thursday, February 10,4:30-6:30 p.m. 

Make an African mask 

McNichols Campus Library, first floor 

Detroit Mercy students and employees can create their own African masks for an arts and crafts contest. Creators of the top three masks, voted on by the Black Student Union, will receive a $50 gift card. All African masks created and submitted for competition will be displayed in the McNichols Campus Library’s first floor lobby from Feb 21-28. 

This event is co-sponsored by Student Life and the Black Student Union. 

• Monday, February 14, noon-1 p.m. 

Love Stories from the Underground Railroad 

Bargmann Room, McNichols Campus Library, second floor 

Professor of History Roy E. Finkenbine recounts the lives of Caesar and Sally, one of the many so-called Black Indian families created because of the Underground Railroad. In 1774, Caesar, an enslaved Virginian, sought sanctuary in the Shawnee villages in the Ohio country. There, he met and married Sally, a Shawnee woman, and produced several children. Caesar fought with other Shawnee warriors to hold onto the land in the face of white settlement. Two of their sons later fought with Tecumseh in the early 19th century to do the same. 

Those attending the live talk will be provided refreshments to take with them at the end of the program. A virtual option will be available to those who register in advance.

Now in its ninth year, Love Stories is co-sponsored by the Black Abolitionist Archive and Student Life. 

• Thursday, February 17, 7 p.m. 

Movie night: The Best Man Holiday 

Ford Life Sciences, room 113 

Join fellow Titans for a viewing of The Best Man Holiday, an American comedy-drama film chosen by the Black Student Union and Titan Equity Nourish Network (TENN). The film, released in 2013, received numerous accolades, including nominations for Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP Image Awards. 

• Sunday, February 20, 4 p.m. 

Ecumenical Service 

Student Union, Fountain Lounge, first floor 

Pastor Teamos Hogan Jr. of Frontline Christian Church will lead the service. Refreshments will be provided and all are welcome to attend. The ecumenical service is co-sponsored by University Ministry, Student Life and the McNichols Campus Library. 

• Tuesday, February 22, 2:30-4:30 p.m. 

Detroit tours: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 

Students and employees can tour the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, led by historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan.  

Those interested in attending should meet at the Livernois gate on Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus at 2 p.m. Capacity is limited to 40 people, which includes a bus trip from the University to the museum. Participation is limited to just one of the two tours. 

Jordan is the founder of the Black Scroll Network History & Tours, which specializes in tours that focus on African American history in Detroit.

Advanced registration is required.

• Thursday, February 24, 2:30-4:30 p.m. 

Detroit tours: Detroit Historical Museum 

Students and employees can tour the Detroit Historical Museum, also led by historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan.  

Those interested in attending should meet at the Livernois gate on Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus at 2 p.m. Capacity is limited to 40 people, which includes a bus trip from the University to the museum. Participation is limited to just one of the two tours due to limited capacity. 

Advanced registration is required.

For additional information or to register for any of the Detroit Mercy Black History Month events, visit


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