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Black History Month celebrates and honors the achievements and contributions made by African Americans to the economic, cultural, spiritual and political development of the United States.

What is Black History Month?

The commemoration began as “Negro History Week” in 1926. The second week in February was chosen because it marks the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass and the ratification of the Constitution’s 15th Amendment, which removed race as a qualification for voting.
Celebrations and support from universities and colleges around the country led to the week evolving into a full month.
Homecoming parade african american student association
Kaitlyn Kirksey, SGA President

“Black History Month is important because it celebrates a group of people who have been left out of history, and a perfect example is the Tulsa Race Massacre, which was left out of Oklahoma history textbooks. Our history as people of color is your history as people in America. All of us are a part of American history.”

- Kaitlyn Kirksey
Student Body President

OSU African American HighlightsOklahoma State University is a nationally recognized leader with an unwavering commitment to achieving inclusive excellence across its university system.


50%
increase

 in African American students earning a bachelor’s degree from 2010-2019

8
years straight

of OSU receiving the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award

97%
increase

in undergraduate students of color from fall 2009 to fall 2018


Black History Month Featured Events

Miss Black OSU in Homecoming Parade

 

Mr. & Miss Black OSU Pageant Marks 50 Years

The 50th annual scholarship pageant pays tribute to the intelligence, style, elegance and beauty of African American women. This year’s pageant takes place Saturday, February 8 in the OSU Student Union Theater at 3 p.m.

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Tulsa Race Riot

 

Learn About the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Come learn about the history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, where hundreds lost their lives in some of America’s worst racial violence. The Greenwood District, also known as “Black Wall Street,” was the most economically vibrant Black community in the U.S. for years, and preceded Harlem, NY in that status.

Presented by Phil Armstrong, project director of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission.

MORE INFO

OSU Professor Teaches State’s Only ‘Black Wall Street’ Course

This course, taught on the OSU-Tulsa campus, examines the history and evolution of Tulsa’s Greenwood District, coined “Black Wall Street” by educator and historian Booker T. Washington. Quraysh Lansana, OSU adjunct professor, is a poet, author and educator who teaches the course based on his 17 years of research.

The Dream Lives On

How students today are moving MLK’s vision forward
Audrea Jackson, Miss Black OSU 2019-20, explains how Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is pushing her forward as a black student at OSU.

Statue Honors OSU Integration Pioneer

A life-size bronze sculpture depicting civil rights pioneer Nancy Randolph Davis, the first African American student to attend Oklahoma A&M College in 1949, was dedicated outside the College of Human Sciences (now known as the College of Education and Human Sciences) in January 2019. 
Davis overcame racial obstacles — sitting outside a classroom until fellow students’ complaints were heard and she was allowed a seat in the class — while working toward a master’s degree in home economics. She taught in Oklahoma high schools for 43 years.
Nancy Randolph Davis sculpture
burns speaking at Nancy Randolph Davis sculpture dedication

“You could not have better values than Nancy Randolph Davis,” OSU President Burns Hargis said. “She believed in education and spent her life in education and in civil rights. We all have benefited from her.”

- President Hargis
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