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Black History Month 2024

NVC celebrates Black History Month

February 1, 2024

Dear NVC Community,


Today is the first day of Black History Month, a time during which we celebrate the achievements, histories, cultures, and contributions of African-descended people in the US and around the world.  The theme for this year’s Black History Month, established by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), is “African Americans and the Arts.”  As noted on the ASALH website when discussing the theme for 2024:


“African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world.” (


In African and African diasporic cultures, the arts are indelibly embedded within a multitude of everyday forms of social life.  Symbols representing spiritual deities appear in beautifully crafted and embellished worship flags that adorn home altars to the ancestors and spirits. Music accompanies individual and social rites of passage and festivals marking changes in the cycle of social life. Fabric designs and the ways in which the textiles adorn the body send encoded messages within communities, and language has rhythmic patterns that can be traced to environmental conditions and economic frameworks that shaped the development of societies.


To help us understand the power and, simultaneously, the perceived threat of African artistic practices in the African Diaspora, we are delighted to host Dr. Umi Vaughan, Professor of History and Communications at CSU, Monterey Bay, for a performance-based lecture on the power of African-rooted drumming in Brazil and religious racism that attempts to silence this mode of expression among communities who practice African-based syncretic religions, such as Candomblé.  Please join us on February 22, 5:30-7:00 p.m., in the Little Theater (Room 1231) for Dr. Vaughan’s presentation and learn about the realms of African-based drum cultures in the Americas, and modes of resistance against colonial and neo-colonial efforts to repress this important feature of religious and social life.  This event features live drumming, singing, dance, and lecture.


In addition to this lecture-performance, there are many other activities at the college and in the Napa Valley that you can attend in celebration of Black History Month.  Below is a schedule of exciting and informative events to mark on your calendars. Please share with your networks. I look forward to celebrating and learning with you!



Schedule of Activities:


February 3

Starting at 2:00 p.m.

7th Annual Napa Valley Black History Month Celebration, “Celebrating African Americans and the Arts: Fostering Belonging and Social Change“


Crosswalk Community Church (See Attached Flyer)

February 5

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Teach Truth Book Club Discussion of The 1619 Project by Nicole Hannah-Jones. Discussion facilitated by Dr. Dale Allender.

Napa Bookmine

1625 2nd Street, Napa

February 8

12:00-1:00 p.m.

Napa County Office of Education (NCOE) Black History Month Education Event, “African American Student Achievement in Education: A Conversation with Dr. Charles Cole III & Dr. Eric Handy”

Virtual Presentation

(See Attached Flyer)

February 13

12:30-1:20 p.m.

NVC Umoja Porch Talk

NVC Umoja Lounge,

Room 863

February 15

6:00-9:00 p.m.

NVC Umoja "Paint and Dip" Night

NVC Community Room, Room 1732

February 20

12:30-1:20 p.m.

NVC Umoja Porch Talk

NVC Umoja Lounge,

Room 863

February 21

4:45-7:00 p.m.

NCOE Black History Month Student Contest

Napa Valley College Studio Theater. For more info, go to website 

February 22

5:30-7:00 p.m.

NVC Black History Month Lecture/Performance by Dr. Umi Vaughan, “Drumming Up Resistance: Afro-Brazilian Sacred Music and Power.” This event will include performances by Brazilian and Bay Area musicians and dancers.

NVC Little Theater,

Room 1231

February 27

12:30-1:20 p.m.

NVC Umoja Porch Talk

NVC Umoja Lounge,

Room 863

March 4

6:00-7:30 p.m.

Teach Truth Book Club Discussion of The Black Jacobins. Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by C.L.R. James. Discussion facilitated by Dr. Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy.

Napa Bookmine

1625 2nd Street, Napa



Other regional California Community College Black History Month activities can be found through the links below:


Santa Rosa Junior College:


Modesto Junior College African American Education Conference, February 23


I look forward to celebrating and learning with you!


A Luta Continua!



Dr. Patricia van Leeuwaarde Moonsammy

Senior Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers (Why is this here?)