Black History Month 2024: Celebrating Black Excellence

Black Excellence has been a term in use since at least the 1970s, emerging alongside other similarly structured terms, such as Black Power, that grew out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. This year’s Black History Month theme “Celebrating Black Excellence” celebrates the accomplishments and general amazingness of people of the African diaspora.

While some view Black Excellence as an alternative to negate stereotypes imposed by society on Black people, recognizing that high achievements have often shaped perceptions of Black individuals externally rather than allowing them to define themselves, we see it as an avenue to express Black joy. Black Excellence makes space for empowering and positive experiences apart from and in opposition to the narratives of trauma, tragedy, and struggles perpetuated by anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and the pervasive depictions of Black trauma and tragedy in media and discourse.

Black Excellence empowers Black individuals to embrace their true selves and form a sense of community in response to systems that devalue them and limit their self-expression.

Sponsored by the Association of Pan African Unity (APAU) and the Office of Community and Belonging in collaboration with various departments and student organizations, this year’s Black History Month will express Black Excellence through programs centering on the following themes:

  • Week 1: Black Excellence in Wellness
  • Week 2: Black Excellence in Social Movements
  • Week 3: Black Excellence in Community
  • Week 4: Envision YOUR Black Excellence