The Woods Hole Community Black History Month Committee presents

Graphic of Black History month logo

History of Black History Month Speakers and Activities
1981 - Present

Compiled by:
Karen P. Rauss, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1989 | 1990 | 1991 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011| 2012 |2013 |2014 |2015||2016 |2017|


Ray Almeida, former editor of Tchuba, slide presentation on Cape Verdean history from the time it was first established as a slave colony by the Portuguese to the contemporary New England community of Cape Verdeans.

Ray Almeida, former editor of Tchuba, slide presentation on Cape Verdean maritime history.

Herman Banson, physicist and President of Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, keynote address on the ways that scientific/technical laboratories can more effectively utilize the Black college student resource.

John Henrik Clarke, editor and Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Studies Department at Hunter College, New York, discussion on the contributions that Black people have made to the advancement of science: a world view.

Kennet Guscott, President of Ken Guscott Associates, Boston, and James Patterson, Executive Director Massachusetts Pre-Engineering Program and Staff, Boston, "Minority Youth - An Under-utilized Resource of Man-Power for the Sciences, Engineering Mathematics and Technology"

Alice Hoagland, filmmaker, moderator of film symposium and a discussion about form and content.


National Theme: Afro-American "Black" History - Blueprint for Survival

Arthur Green, Director Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, Hartford, "Opportunities for Minorities in Scientific and Technical Fields"

Shirley M. Malcolm, Program Head, Office of Opportunities in Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC, "Opportunities in Science - Removal of Barriers to Full Access for Minorities, Women and the Handicapped"

Edwin M. Smith, Professor of Law, University of Southern California Law Center and Research Associate Institute for Marine and Coastal Studies, Los Angeles, "Recent Developments in Offshore Leasing"

First Harambee, with entertainment and Afro-American book source


James S. Hoyte, Secretary, Environmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Environmental affairs on regional, state, and local levels. Three issues: the purchase of Washburn Island by the Commonwealth, a proposed waste facility at Otis Air Force Base, and the future of development on Cape Cod as it relates to ground water supply.

Claudia Zaslavsky, Mathematics teacher, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education, College of New Rochelle, New York, "Africa Counts: Number and Pattern in African Culture"

James T. Wisdom, "Uses of Computers in Education" at the Morse Pond School in Falmouth

Harambee, with entertainment


National Theme: Black Americans and the Struggle for Excellence in Education
Local Theme: Science and Politics: Implications for Blacks

Mervyn Dymally, California Congressman, "Science and Politics: Implications for Blacks in the 1980's"

Asa G. Hilliard, Professor of Urban Education, State University of Georgia, "Free Your Mind, Return to the Source: The African Origin of Civilization"

Ivan Van Sertima, Professor of African Studies, Rutgers University, "The History of Blacks in Science and Technology, and the Barriers Encountered"

Showing of television debate, "Firing Line" entitled, "Resolved: Affirmative Action Goals for Women and Minorities Should Be Abolished"

Harambee, with entertainment


National & Local Themes: Black Women in Science and Technology

Barbara J. Fling, History Department, Howard University, "And Still I rise: The Black Woman - Tradition and Transformation in a Technocratic Age"

Reatha Clark King, President Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis/St. Paul, "The Joys, Pains, and Myths Surrounding the Black Woman Scientist"

Conference on "Crisis in Africa: The Eighties and Beyond," Falmouth High School. Organized by the United Nations Association, USA

Harambee, with entertainment by Umteto


National Theme: The Afro-American Experience: The International Connection
Local Theme: Afro-Americans in Science and Exploration: The International Connection

Allen Counter, Neurophysiologist, author and filmmaker, Harvard University, "Black Diaspora and the Afro-American International Connection"

Eugenia Fortes, Human rights activist, Hyannis, an oral history of her life as a Cape Verdean on Cape Cod.

Frederick Gregory, Astronaut, NASA, "Black Americans in Science and Exploration" and comments on the explosion of the space shuttle, Challenger

Astronaut Gregory visited Falmouth, Bourne and Mashpee public schools.

Robert L. Hall, Historian and author, University of Maryland, Baltimore, "The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Genesis of American Culture"

Harambee, with music by Umteto; Afro-American Book Source had more than 300 titles on display and for sale.


National Theme: The Afro-American and the Constitution: Colonial Times to the Present
Local Theme: Afro-Americans Since the Constitution: Science, Technology and Medicine

Allen Counter, Harvard University, "The Peary-Hensen Link at the North Pole"

Robert C. Hayden, Executive Director, Massachusetts Pre-Engineering Program, "Free Blacks and the Constitution 1787-1900: Emphasis on Inventors"

Willie A. Wilson, Jr., Department Head of Chapter 636 and Multi-Cultural Education, Brockton Public Schools, "Black New Englanders During the Constitutional Era"

Harambee, with entertainment by Umteto; Savanna Books display and sale of literature for children.


National Theme: The Constitutional Status of Afro-Americans: Into the 21st Century
Local Theme: Afro-Americans in Science: Into the 21st Century

Philip Clay, Associate Professor, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT, "Afro-Americans in Higher Education: Holding and Moving Forward"

Franklyn Jenifer, Chancellor, Board of Regents for Higher Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, "Afro-Americans in Science: Into the 21st Century"

Robert Watkins, Director of Public Affairs, American Society for Microbiology, "The Status of Minority Training in Biomedical Research in the U.S. and Federal Support for It"

Harambee, with entertainment by Atlantic Clarion Steel Band


National Theme: The Role of Afro-American Churches in Economics, Political and Social Development at Home and Abroad
Local Theme: African-Americans in Science and Society

Walter E. Massey, President, American Association for the Advancement of Science, "Blacks in Science: Who Needs Them?"

Esther Terry, Chair, W.E.B DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, "Revisiting DuBois - African-Americans in the 21st Century"

Harambee, with entertainment by Phil Barboza Cape Verdean Band; Savanna Books display and sale of children's literature; fundraising raffle of two tickets to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket


National Theme: The Father of Black History - Carter G. Woodson - A Living Legacy
Local Theme: A Living Legacy: Dedicated to Carter G. Woodson

Allen Counter, Director, Harvard Foundation, "The North Pole Legacy: Black, White, and Eskimo"

Michael S. Harper, Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, I.J. Kapstein Professor of English, Brown University, "Chant of Saints"

Margaret L. Moseley, Civil rights and peace activist, "The Place of Blacks in Massachusetts History"

Harambee, with entertainment by Visions; Eight Cousins Children's Books display and sale


National Theme: Educating America: Black Universities and Colleges - Strengths and Crises
Local Theme: Educating America: Strengths and Crises

David Evans, Senior Admissions Officer, Harvard University, "Early Intervention in the Education of African American Youth"

Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research, "How the Climate System Works and the Effect of Greenhouse Gases"

The Chowderheads original workshop production, "Somebody's Calling My Name"

Harambee, with entertainment by Phil Barboza; the Market Bookshop display and sale of books; Joye Perry-Roberts, "The Story of African American Doll Making"; Waldorf Marionette Troupe performance


National & Local Themes: African Roots Explore New Worlds: Pre-Columbus to the Space Age

Rear Admiral Freddie L. Jeffries, Director, Atlantic Marine Center, NOAA, "A Closer Look at the Road from Where We Came to Where We Are"

George Langford, Ernest Just Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College and Adjunct Professor; Department of Physiology, Dartmouth Medical School, and MBL summer investigator, "The Culture of Science from the African-American Perspective"

Loretta Williams, Lecturer, Brandeis University, "1992 Imperative: Walking the Talk"

The Myrtle Baptist Church Choir, Lawrence School Auditorium

Harambee, with entertainment by Phil Barboza; Eight Cousins Children's Books display and sale; Marsha Hjultrom performance, including storytelling and ventriloquism


National & Local Themes: Afro-American Scholars: Leaders, Activists, and Writers

Betty Burkes, Founder, Montessori Paradise School, "Voices of Black Women"

Allen Counter, Director, Harvard Foundation for Intercultural Relations, Harvard University, "The American Slavery Memorial"

Benjamin E. Cuker, Professor, Marine and Environmental Science Department, Hampton University, "Opportunities for Afro-Americans in Aquatic Sciences: A Model Program"

Robert Tankard, Principal, West Tisbury Elementary School, "Great Leaders in Black American History"

James H. Wyche, Associate Provost, Brown University, "Scientific Leadership in the U.S.: What is the Role of Minorities?"

Black History Month Film presentation courtesy of Cynthia M. Pease. "Simple Justice", a film about the early career of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, part of the WGBH "American Experience Series"

Film of Phil Barboza for Ernestine Gray's "Talk about Jazz" program for Community Access Channel 20 in Mashpee.

The Myrtle Baptist Church Choir, First Congregational Church

Harambee, with entertainment by Phil Barboza; Roslyn Norris's storytelling; Market Bookshop display and sale of books; Shakina Wright of Wright Creations display and sale of Afrocentric handicrafts; Afro-American art display


Theme: Empowering Afro-Americans in Environmental Organizations: Present and Future

James S. Hoyte, Harvard University, "Empowering African Americans: The Environmental Justice Movement"

Greg Watson, The Nature Conservancy, "The Role of Sustainable Development in Protecting Biodiversity"

Hubert E. Walters, University of Massachusetts, Boston, "African and African-American Music: The Aesthetic (The Notion of Beauty)"

The Masters of Swing, U.S. Coast Guard Band's Jazz Ensemble, with an opening performance by the Lawrence School Jazz Ensemble, Lawrence School

Ramona Bass, Storyteller, writer, educator, Falmouth Public Library

The Cape Cod Children's Museum sponsored a variety of events throughout the month including storytelling, planetarium shows, and craft-making.

Harambee, featuring entertainment by Eye 2 Eye; Brother Blue, storyteller; Eight Cousins Children's books display and sale; Shakina Wright display and sale of Afrocentric handicrafts from Wright Creations


Theme: Reflections on 1895: Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington"

Donald Cunnigen, University of Rhode Island, "The Talented Tenth in the 21st Century: A Look at the Views of Douglass and DuBois"

Commander Dwight H. Meekins, Coast Guard Academy, "Pea Island Life Saving"

Captain William Pinkney, the first African-American to sail solo around the world, "The Incredible Voyage of Bill Pinkney"

The Cape Cod Children's Museum sponsored a variety of events throughout the month including storytelling, planetarium shows, and craft-making.

Harambee, with entertainment by Visions


Theme: African-American Women: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

N. Joyce Payne, Director Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, "Black Women and Black Colleges: In Pursuit of Equality"

Anyta Little, Bear Clan Mother, Mashpee Indian Tribal Council & Ramona Peters, Native American artist, "Wampanoag Black and More Than That"

Fayneese Miller, Professor and Researcher, Center for Race and Ethnicity , Brown University, "Affirmative Action and the American Dream: Race Relations and Political Attitude Among Minority and Non-Minority Adolescents"

Second-day issuing ceremony of the new stamp honoring MBL scientist Ernest Everett Just

Masters of Swing, the U.S. Coast Guard's Jazz Ensemble with an opening performance by the Lawrence School Jazz Ensemble

Harambee with the Over Soul Collective; a display of African-American art; Eight Cousins Bookstore display and sale; and a display and sale of Afrocentric handicrafts by Shakina Wright and Wright Creation


Theme: African-Americans and Civil Rights: A Reappraisal

Carolyne Lamar Jordan, Academic Dean, Cape Cod Community College, "African-American Scientists - Challenges of the Legacy"

Charles E. Walker, Jr., Chairman, MCAD, "Robert Morris: The Country's First Black Civil Rights Lawyer"

Deborah Harrison, Alaskan Native Education Liaison, SEA, "Dancing the Mowlidi: A Voyage on an Unfamiliar Ocean"

"The Meeting", a play depicting a fictional meeting between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, Pin Points Theatre Group, Morse Pond School Auditorium

Harambee featuring, the Oversoul Collective; interpretive dance by the dancers of the Maria Turner Dance Troupe; a display of African-American art; a display and sale of books by Market Bookshops; a display and sale of Afrocentric handicrafts by Shakina Wright and Wright Creations


Theme: African Americans and Business: A Path Toward Empowerment

Charles L. Blockson, Curator, Afro-American Collection, Temple University, "African American Entrepreneurs Past and Present"

Eugene Commander, Clinical psychologist and educator, "Globalization and the Rise of International Consumerism"

An Evening of Inspirational Music, presented by the New Hope Community Baptist Church, the Zion Union Church and the People's Baptist Church gospel choirs, Lawrence School Auditorium

Harambee, featuring music by Cabildo; a display of African-American art; a display and sale of Afrocentric handicrafts by Ebony Creations and Afrocentric jewelry by Shakina Wright of Wright Creations; Arts, crafts and storytelling sponsored by the Cape Cod Neighborhood Support Coalition's Cultural Awareness Committee


Theme: The Legacy of African-American Leadership for the Present and Future

Allen Counter, Director, Harvard Foundation for Intercultural Relations, "Symbols of Recognition of African-Americans"

Erroll Brown, Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, "The Legacy of African-American Leadership"

New African Company, dramatic presentation, "Frederick Douglass: On My Education"

Harambee featuring music by Soul Ensemble; marionette show performed by the Waldorf School Marionette Troupe, arts and crafts sponsored by the Cape Cod Neighborhood Support Coalition's Cultural Awareness Committee; a book display and sale by Booksmith; craft displays and sales by Ebony Creations and Wright Creations; "Hero's Project" display by Cape Cod Academy


Theme: Heritage and Horizon: The African-American Legacy and the Challenges of the 21st Century

Evelyn Fields, Admiral, NOAA Corps, "Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We're Going: Challenges of the 21st Century"

Michael Blakey, Professor, Howard University, "New York Burial Ground and the Struggle for Human Rights"

"The Odyssey of Captain Healy", hour long video documentary about one of the U.S. Coast Guard's most celebrated officers, shown twice - once at NMFS Aquarium conference room and once at WHOI's Redfield Auditorium

Harambee, with music by Big Dave and the Defenders; book and craft displays, marionette shows


Theme: Creating and Defining the African-American Community: Family, Church, Politics and Culture

Daniel Pauly, Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, "The Importance of Thinking Big: addressing large-scale and global change issues through marine and fisheries biological research"

George Spivey, Falmouth Affirmative Action Officer, "Africans and African Americans: Travelin' Through Time and Space"

John Reed, President, Cape Cod Chapter of the NAACP, "The Impact of the MCAS Exam on School districts Throughout the Commonwealth: What's in it for Cape Cod?"

"Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance", a documentary featuring more than 130 rarely seen paintings, prints, photographs and sculpture as well as archival footage of the African-American artists who made up the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920's and 30's

Harambee featuring music by the Grant Langford Quartet, book and craft displays

link to sea education association link to woods hole research center link to woods hole coastasl and marine science center link to woods hole oceanographic institution link to northeast fisheries science center link to marine biological laboratory

Woods Hole Black History Month events are sponsored by the Marine Biological Laboratory; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Science Center, the Woods Hole Research Center , and the Sea Education Association. All events are free and open to the public.