HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) — Holyoke Community College will celebrate Black History Month in February with a series of online events that includes conversations about the 400-year span of African-American history, voting rights, and health issues such as COVID-19 and their disproportionate impact on communities of color.

All events will be held virtually and advanced registration is required through Holyoke Community College Black History Month celebration at: hcc.edu/bhm.

The first event will be on February 2, with a discussion with African-American scholars Ibram Kendi and Keisha N. Blain about their book “Historically Speaking: Four Hundred Souls,” from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Many of the book’s contributors will also join Kendi and Blain in this discussion about the impact of the African American community on the historical trajectory of social justice in America.  

The second event will be on February 10, at 11:00 a.m. with HCC anthropology professor Vanessa Martinez, Ph.D., who will lead “The Legacy of Poor Health: Communities of Color From 1619 to COVID.”

Martinez will share data on the legacy of American racism and how it amplifies the challenges of living during COVID-19, especially for communities of color.

The third event will be on February 17, at 11:00 a.m. where HCC history professor Maura Henry, Ph.D., will lead a discussion of the film “Fannie Lou Hamer: Voting Rights Activist” about the outspoken civil rights leader, who was the granddaughter of a slave and the youngest of 20 children.

The fourth and last event will be on February 23, at 1:00 p.m. where HCC history professor Gaylord Saulsberry, Ed.D., will lead a discussion about “One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy” a book by Carol Anderson, the award-winning author of White Rage. The book is part of a Holyoke Community College community read project and copies are available for free as an Ebook through the HCC Library.