Mary McLeod Bethune

Today’s educators and students are building on the foundation laid by pioneers such as Bethune. She had a lifelong passion for education and attended college before founding a school for African American girls in Daytona Beach, Fla. That school developed into Bethune-Cookman University, one of 107 historically black colleges and universities in the United States.

Homer Plessy

The New Orleans native challenged Louisiana segregation laws in the landmark Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896. Though “separate but equal” was upheld by the US Supreme Court, Plessy’s civil disobedience inspired future generations. Legal arguments from his case were used again in Brown v. Board of Education to strike down segregation in public schools.

Linda Brown

Turned away when her father attempted to enroll her in a “whites only” school in her ethnically diverse neighborhood in Topeka, Kansas, Brown became the face of the Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit. The US Supreme Court reversed Plessy v. Ferguson in 1954 and declared “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall College at UC San Diego honors the first African-American to serve as a US Supreme Court justice. A champion of civil rights before becoming a judge, Marshall won 29 of 32 cases he argued before the Supreme Court. That includes Brown v. Board of Education, which brought an end to “separate but equal” laws.

Vivian Malone

With James Hood, Malone was one of the first two African American students at the University of Alabama. She came face to face with Governor George Wallace in 1963 as he attempted to block integration. He relented, and Malone went on to graduate.

UC San Diego

The push for educational equity is ongoing. UC San Diego’s efforts include the Black Academic Excellence Initiative; The Preuss School; the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan; Diversity Initiatives; and scholarships.

Illustrated here are significant figures in African American education. Hover over each illustration for additional information.

Save the Date

15th Annual
UC San Diego Black History Month Scholarship Brunch
Price Center Ballrooms A/B
Saturday, February 25, 2017 | 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Join us for UC San Diego’s 15th annual Black History Scholarship Brunch, which will feature a keynote address by educator, national change-maker and author Dr. Steve Perry. All campus and community members are invited to this soulful experience, which will include a performance by national recording jazz harpist Mariea Antoinette, a Southern-style soul food brunch, a silent auction and recognition of student scholars. All proceeds from the silent auction support undergraduate scholarships, enabling ambitious and motivated students to realize their academic dreams at UC San Diego.

2017 Black History Month program listing coming soon—please check back later this month.

To view last year’s events, visit the 2016 Black History Month website.

Greetings Campus Colleagues and Community Supporters,

Our annual “Call for Programs” for the UC San Diego Celebration of Black History Month is here! 2017 Black History Month Theme: The Crisis in Black Education: UC San Diego Improving the Pipeline to Academic Success). We come together as a community, each year, to honor and celebrate our rich and collective history. With this year’s theme, our spectrum is broad and will be represented with a diverse collection of activities, programs and events!

UC San Diego departments, staff/student organizations, and community partners wishing to have Black History Month programs included in the 2017 calendars, please complete a Black History Month program submission form found at: All programs submitted by January 9, 2017 will be included in the Black History Month printed calendar, and the BHM website. Please submit the form, with any questions/concerns to If your program is not finalized by January 9, submit as much information as possible so that a space on the calendar can be reserved for your event.

Most Sincerely,
Pamela Fruge, UC San Diego Black History Month Planning Committee 2017

Office of the Chancellor • Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor • Office of the Vice Chancellor – Student Affairs • Office of the Vice Chancellor – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion • San Diego Foundation • Vice Chancellor – Chief Financial Officer • Vice Chancellor – Resource Management and Planning • Council of Provosts • Division of Social Sciences; Graduate Division • Housing Dining and Hospitality • Creative Services and Publications • Financial Aid Office • Cross-Cultural Center • Associated Students • Department of Education Studies • UJIMA Network • Black Staff Association • University Centers • John Duca • University Development • Parking and Transportation Services • San Diego Foundation

Special Thanks to
Creative Services and Publications and A.S. Graphic Studio

Very Special Thanks to
All of the people who worked together to make all of this happen: 2017 Black History Month Planning Committee Members: Pamela Frugé • Marcia Strong • Maddy Agamata • Mya Hines • Terece Moret • Beverly Ward • Edwina Welch • Davyda Johnson • Tammy Blevins • Porsia Curry • Bennetta Jules-Rosette • Heather McMaster • Davell Jackson • Tamika Franklin • Fnann Keflezighi • Mona Logan