MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

 February 13, 2016 

Mayville State will celebrate Black History Month


Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs, and host performances and lectures.

In the decades that followed, mayors of cities across the country began issuing yearly proclamations recognizing Negro History Week. By the late 1960s, thanks in part to the Civil Rights Movement and a growing awareness of black identity, Negro History Week had evolved into Black History Month on many college campuses. President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Mayville State University will celebrate Black History Month Feb. 18 and 19. Dr. Tamba-Kuii Bailey, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Counseling Psychology Department in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco, will be on campus to lead a workshop for faculty and staff and present an all-campus keynote address. Dr. Bailey’s presence at Mayville State University is sponsored by the MSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Student Life department, and the Multicultural Club.

Dr. Tamba-Kuii Bailey earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Georgia State University. He also holds an educational specialist and a master’s degree in community counseling from James Madison University, as well as a second master’s degree in African American studies from Temple University.

Dr. Bailey’s research is in the areas of black psychology and multicultural psychology. In black psychology, his interests are in the areas of racial oppression, internalized racial oppression, and the impact of race on mental health, mental health diagnoses, and physical health. In the area of multicultural psychology, his interests are in racial microaggressions, multicultural competencies, multiculturalism in higher education, and social justice in psychology.

Mayville State’s two-day Black History Month celebration will begin with a workshop for faculty and staff titled “Infusing Multiculturalism in the Curriculum and How to Navigate Discussions on Race in the Classroom” on Feb. 18. The workshop will take place in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

On the evening of Feb. 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., all faculty, staff, and students have been invited to attend a meet and greet social with Dr. Bailey in the basement of Agassiz Hall.

Dr. Bailey will address the campus in his presentation, “The Impact of Black Lives Matter and Other Movements on Black Education in Higher Education,” Friday, Feb. 19 from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Classroom Building Auditorium.

We are honored to have the opportunity to host Dr. Tamba-Kuii Bailey at Mayville State University in honor of Black History Month. For more information about this event and future events sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, please contact director Dina Zavala-Petherbridge at