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February 1, 2022

SVSU celebrates Black History Month with art exhibit, mobile museum

Saginaw Valley State University will celebrate Black History Month with events throughout the month of February. While many of the events are limited to the campus community because of COVID-19 precautions, the public will be able to enjoy a few.

SVSU’s Black History Month celebration kicks off with an art exhibit and a mobile museum.  

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at SVSU presents “Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement.” This exhibit celebrates the lasting legacy of the Civil Rights Movement and will be on view at the museum through Wednesday, April 16. Programming during this exhibition includes “Create & Take” drop-in art activities on Feb. 12 and March 12, as well as an artist panel with exhibiting artists Shirley Woodson and Allie McGhee on March 26.

On Thursday, Feb. 3 SVSU’s Multicultural Student Center will host the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, a traveling exhibit with more than 10,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia representing the whole of Black history in the United States. The exhibit will be on display in Curtiss Hall/Groening Commons from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, founder of the Black History 101 Mobile Museum, will present a lecture to the SVSU community at noon.

Michelle AlexanderOn Wednesday, Feb. 16, SVSU’s Office of Diversity Programs presents “The New Jim Crow: A Courageous Conversation” with guest Michelle Alexander. Alexander is the best-selling author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.” The fully online presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Registration information will be available on the office’s website:

Throughout Black History Month, SVSU is also hosting many events for the campus community such as a Black faculty and staff meet-and-greet, a Black alumni meet and greet, a Black@SVSU fashion show and an intersectional women’s panel. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, these events are not open to the public.


Black History 101 Mobile Museum:

The Black History 101 Mobile Museum is a traveling exhibit that has visited 40 states and has been shared at over 500 institutions. Founded by Dr. Khalid el-Hakim, it is an award-winning collection of over 10,000 original artifacts of Black memorabilia dating from the trans-Atlantic slave trade era to hip-hop culture. The artifacts represent categories such as: Jim Crow, science, religion, education, music, sports and civil rights. The collection includes documents signed by Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Mary Mcleod Bethune, W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Robeson, Rosa Parks, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington Carver, Lena Horne, Carter G. Woodson, Angela Davis and other historical icons.

Previous traveling art exhibits hosted by SVSU during Black History Month have focused on Jim Crow era racist memorabilia, but the mobile museum celebrates the whole of Black history.

The mobile museum event is presented in partnership with the SVSU Multicultural Student Center, School University Partnership Office, and registered student organizations Valley Nights and Program Board.

For more information about the mobile museum, visit


“Harold Neal and Detroit African American Artists: 1945 through the Black Arts Movement” at the Marshall Fredericks Sculpture Museum:

This exhibit explores the growth and development of African American art in Detroit from the 1950s through the 1970s. The exhibit will be on view at the MFSM from Tuesday, Feb. 1 through Wednesday, April 16. While focusing on Neal, the exhibit also features some of his predecessors, contemporaries and successors.  

“While this exhibition reflects the sentiments of the Black Arts Movement in Detroit, the content and powerful imagery of the artworks in the exhibition are still very much relevant today,” said Megan McAdow, director of the museum.

An online version of the exhibition is also available through the “Museum Musings” portal on the museum’s website, This exhibit is made possible with grant support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

The Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum is located on the campus of Saginaw Valley State University.