San Marcos,
16:30 PM

Celebrating Achievements Through Black Excellence Month

By Tim Meehan

Black History Month has been celebrated in this country for nearly 50 years, double that if you consider it began as a weeklong celebration in 1926.

But instead of simply celebrating history, Cal State San Marcos takes it to another level of honor, respect and education by celebrating February as Black Excellence Month.

“For me, the idea is that black history is American history,” said John W. Rawlins III, who is the director of the Black Student Center and interim director of the Gender Equity Center at CSUSM. “So the month itself is about celebrating our excellence and achievements, while our history should be learned and celebrated all year long.”

The celebration began last week with a few events, and the festivities continue this week with a pair of discussions featuring keynote speaker Jamie R. Riley and author and Columbia University Associate Vice President Flores A. Forbes.

The campus-wide celebration was planned by Rawlins, the student staff of the Black Student Center, the executive board of the Black Student Union, the executive board of the Black Faculty and Staff Association, and other entities across campus.

This year's theme is “Of Royalty.”

“It serves to remind us all that people of African descendants are not simply descendants of enslaved people, but are descendants of kings and queens that once ruled in Africa,” Rawlins said. “Events such as the transatlantic slave trade sought to degrade and demean our people and to erase our culture. But programs, events, and celebrations such as this are helping to make sure that our story is told properly.”

Among the many anticipated events are a party on Feb. 24 to celebrate the Black Student Center’s third anniversary and CSUSM’s first step show and competition on Feb. 28 in the USU Ballroom.


Upcoming Events

Feb. 11: A Brotherhood Dialogue With Jamie R. Riley, Ph.D.

4 p.m. | Black Student Center


Feb. 11: Black Excellence Keynote Speaker Jamie R. Riley, Ph.D.

6 p.m. | USU Ballroom A&C


Feb. 12: A Conversation With Flores A. Forbes

2 p.m. | Black Student Center


Feb. 12: Invisibility & Resistance: Education as Justice Work

6 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Presented by the Sociology Department


Feb. 13: BSC Unity Hour

Noon-1 p.m. | Black Student Center & Latin@/x Center

BSC Unity Hour with the Latin@/x Center Speedfriending Event


Feb. 13: Natural Hair Show

6 p.m. | USU Ballroom B&D

Presented by Black Student Union


Feb. 14: Show Some Love!

All Day | Black Student Center

Community Day of Appreciation


Feb. 19: Community Photoshoot

5 p.m. | USU Rooftop

Black Excellence Month community photoshoot (please wear all black)


Feb. 19: Lip Sync Battle

6 p.m. | Black Student Center


Feb. 20: BSC Unity Hour

Noon-1 p.m. | Black Student Center

The power of knowledge


Feb. 20: Conscious/Connections

5 p.m. | Kellogg 5400 (Library Reading Room)

Presented by Black Faculty and Staff Association


Feb. 21: Carnival!

6 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Presented by Latin@/x Center & Tukwut Life


Feb. 24: Party With My People

3 p.m. | Black Student Center

Black Student Center third anniversary


Feb. 27: BSC Unity Hour

Noon | Black Student Center

Black men in leadership


Feb. 27: Afrolatinx Platica Pt. II

6 p.m. | Latin@/x Center

Presented by BSC and Latin@/x Center


Feb. 28: Step-ish: NPHC Step Show

7 p.m. | USU Ballroom

Presented by BSC/Tukwut Life/BSU, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.


Feb. 29: Women In Leadership

8:30 a.m. | USU Ballroom A&C

Student Life presents Women In Leadership


Spirit Week Feb. 24-28

Feb. 24: Wear Your Crown

Your hair, however you wear it, is your crown. Wear it proudly!


Feb. 25: We Mean Business

Business attire all day! Show your peers how ready you are.


Feb. 26: Dashiki Day

Wear your dashiki, a symbol of affirmation.


Feb. 27: ’90s Gear



Feb. 28: BEM Shirt Day

Let’s show our unity as we end this formal celebration of Black Excellence!

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist | Office: 760-750-7314