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Organizers of Black History Month at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh are planning more than 50 events for February, including a special event honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The month will be brimming with discussions, forums, movies, gospel choir rehearsal, recreation and more.

“I’m excited for our virtual Black History Month celebration,” said Alphonso Simpson Jr., director of UWO’s African American Studies Program and organizer of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration and Awards Program.

“With today’s technology, we can literally reach everyone with a click of a button. My hope is people go over the lineup for the month and choose events weekly to participate in―whether virtually or in-person and come and receive ‘food for the soul.’ The history, literature and culture of African-American people are  extremely crucial to the fabric of the American story and greater world civilization and we are celebrating that.”

On Saturday, Feb. 6, Simpson is  hosting the first Black History Month trivia game for undergraduate students all over the country. The event will be held at 2 p.m. via Zoom, with the winner receiving a $100 gift card.

From 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, students may safely gather at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center MAC Gym, for a nostalgic African-American recreational game night. Double-Dutch rope-jumping will be part of the fun when participants re-live memorable childhood games.

WRST listeners will hear Wendell Ray, radio services director,  interview UWO colleagues for Black History Month. The 30-minute segments will air at 5 p.m. Thursdays in February on 90.3 FM. The weekly lineup includes Ahveon Smith, president of the UWO Black Student Union; Damira Grady, associate vice chancellor for inclusive excellence and chief diversity officer; James Fletcher, vice chancellor for finance and administration; and Simpson, who will reflect on the month in a Feb. 25 segment. Simpson noted that jazz music from 1 to 5 p.m. will precede the interviews.

A complete listing of the Black History Month lineup may be found here.

Information about individual events is available by contacting Simpson at or (920) 424-0964.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration and Awards Program is planned from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Reeve Union Ballroom 227.  The event will include a vocal performance by Simpson, and winners of a student essay contest will be recognized. Fletcher will be keynote speaker. Sponsors for the event are African American Studies Program at UWO and Sigma Upsilon Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,Inc.

A limited number of attendees will be allowed in-person; the event also may be available virtually via Zoom.

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