NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Celebrations honoring Black History Month, held annually each February, may be especially poignant this year as Americans continue to process the racial unrest that escalated throughout 2020. Staff members in Stephen F. Austin State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs hope to unpack some of those events as they discuss Black history and culture during the annual Black History Month Celebration.

“The events that occurred this past year will definitely carry weight during our program as we seek to inform students who may not fully understand their significance,” said DaQuan Allen, OMA student ambassador. “Our speakers will give their unique perspectives on Black History and how we have overcome adversity on campus, in the community and in the country, allowing others to gain a more knowledgeable understanding of the weight of these movements and provide ways to get involved.”

Three guest speakers will present during the celebration, including SFA alumnus Dennis Hagans, SFA student leader Gabrielle Harris and Nacogdoches community member G.W. Neal.

“This year’s Black History Month program is titled ‘From Lemons to Lemonade’ and is aimed at highlighting the perseverance the Black community has displayed throughout history,” said Lauren Roach, OMA student ambassador. “We believe it is important that OMA honors Black History Month because of the significant contributions that Black/African-American people have provided not only to America but to the world. We would like to give Black History Month the recognition it deserves by honoring the historical figures of the past and highlighting the leaders of today.”

The program also will include various performing arts, such as singing, dancing and poetry.

“Participants should expect to have a great time enjoying the display of African-American history and gain insight on how this history continues to remain impactful and inspirational for the present and future,” Roach added.

The Black History Month program begins at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom on the SFA campus as well as virtually via Zoom.

There is no entry fee. Seating is limited for in-person attendance, and the event dress code is business casual. Masks and physical distancing also will be enforced.

The deadline to register for either the in-person or Zoom event is Feb. 19.

For information or to register, visit