Dr. Deonte Hollowell, Program Director of African American Studies, talks about the importance of Black History Month and how Spalding is celebrating with art displays at the Huff Gallery and the 5th Annual Elmer Lucille Conference on African American Studies.


What do you wish people knew about Black History Month?

Dr. Deonte Hollowell: I wish that people knew about Black History Month that it has come a long way and that it has nothing to do with the shortness of the month of  February and has more to do with the mind and the mentality of Dr. Carter G. Woodson who created it as negro history week.

Why is Black History Month important?

Dr. Deonte Hollowell: The importance of  Black History Month can can never be understated  when Dr. Carter G Wilson came up with the idea of having negro history week a lot of us in our in the black community were excited about that and as time goes on sometimes we can belittle or can kind of understate the importance of representing our history that is important to us and should be every single day.

I love the opportunity to get to present black history to the rest of the world for an entire month and  I like that students have the opportunity as well to learn more about the black experience and students of all races and people of our races  get a chance to really appreciate the black experience for what it’s worth and hopefully it influences them to not only do that for the 28  days of February but to really incorporate that in their daily lives specifically when it as it pertains to how they treat black people.

How is Spalding celebrating?

Dr. Deonte Hollowell: The great thing is at Spalding we have the Huff Gallery in which we’ll have all month the  whole month of February to present art that is  important to black people and reflect affects  the black struggle and black accomplishment.

Who is Elmer Lucille Allen?

Dr. Deonte Hollowell: So for African-American studies this will be our  fourth annual Elmer Lucille Allen conference  on African American studies Elmer Lucille Allen is one of our first African-American graduates of the  Sisters of Charity of Nazareth she’s a dear friend of mine and I’m very proud of her. She was the first African-American  chemist hired at Brown Foreman and also she is a  great artist nowadays and so our conference  is February 23rd and 24th always the last  week of February and it gives us a chance to  honor and appreciate Elmer Lucille Allen for her contributions by presenting academic  papers by presenting creative arts, and also just people talking about  the work that they’re doing in the community.