Indiana State University Newsroom

Black History Month events to reflect on ‘hidden figures’

January 26, 2018

The Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center will celebrate Black History Month by recognizing the underrepresented aspects of black history through a month of film screenings, speakers and activities.

A committee of faculty, staff and students started planning in October and selected the event lineup and this year's theme, Hidden Figures: People, Places, Events, and Ideas.

"During our committee meetings, we decided we really wanted to come up with a theme that was representative of ISU, Terre Haute and the state," said Brice Yates, director of the center. "Our theme is a play off the movie title ‘Hidden Figures' and the unknown people, places, events and ideas around black history."

The celebration will kick off at noon Thursday, Feb. 1, with an opening ceremony in Hulman Memorial Student Union's Dede III. At 7 p.m. Feb. 1 in Dede I, there will be a special Indy Film Fest screening of "The Hidden Figures," which tells the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program. Admission is free with your university ID.

Other film showings will include "Marshall," a film about one of the first cases of Thurgood Marshall's time as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 in Dede II; "Black Panther," a film on based on the Marvel Comics character Black Panther, at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 at AMC Showplace Terre Haute 12; and "Souls of Black Girls," a documentary exploring whether or not women of color suffer from a self-image disorder because of modern beauty standards, at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21 in the events area of the Cunningham Memorial Library.

At 7 p.m. Feb. 8 in Dede I, the Hulman Memorial Student Union Board and African American Cultural Center will host a think-fast trivia night, where students will be able to compete and learn about black history.

Crystal Reynolds, research assistant in the history department, will conduct a hidden black art campus tour at noon and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13.

The Black Student Union's 50th anniversary celebration will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center. A Night at the Apollo will take place at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23 in Dede I, followed by the Charles E. Brown Gospel Celebration at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 in Tilson Auditorium.

At 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in Dede II, Payton Head, former Missouri Student Association president at the University of Missouri, will speak. Head helped organize the Concerned Student 1950 protests at the school in November 2015. He will speak about the adversities caused by race, gender and sexual orientation discrimination and offer proven solutions to facilitate open dialogue and embrace marginalized communities.

Black History Month events will conclude on Feb. 28 with a workshop series designed to give students an opportunity to become more aware of important life decisions that will assist with learning how to navigate the collegiate experience. The workshop will take place at 6 p.m. in HMSU room 722.

"There is a separation of American history and black history at times, but it's important to recognize that black history is American history and American history can't be told without discussing black history," Yates said. "Yes, we highlight black history in February, but it is something we should highlight year around. We want this month to be one where we provide knowledge and tools about different events, people, places and ideas and give that hidden information an opportunity to be shared with everyone."

A complete list of the month's events is available at

For more information, call the Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center at 812-237-3811.


Contact: Brice Yates, director, Charles E. Brown African American Cultural Center, or 812-237-4027

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or