February is Africana History Month, and West Virginia University will mark the national occasion with a full range of events and observances, from readings and blood drives, to a tribute to a very special student whose life ended too soon.

Africana History Month is really about family,said Dr. Katherine Bankole, who directs WVU s Center for Black Culture and Research.Thats what WVU iswere a family. Were vibrant, and were diverse, and we can learn from each other.

Also known as Black History Month, the month celebrates all things African-American, from culture and accomplishments, to art, activism and history. The months roots, Bankole said, run deeper in the Mountain State than most people might realize.

It was founded in 1926 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the black educator, activist and son of slaves who dug his way from the West Virginia coal mines to the Ivy league, where he earned a Ph.D. from Harvard.

Here is a rundown of WVU -sponsored events:

  • Monday, Feb. 2Jerry Wilkins Day, 6 p.m. The USS West Virginia Bell at Oglebay Plaza will toll for the popular graduate student who was shot two years ago.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 3African American Read-In, 3:30-5 p.m., Stansbury Library, 3rd floor
  • Thursday, Feb. 5American Red Cross forum on blood and organ donations, 6:30 p.m., Elizabeth Moore Hall.
  • Friday, Feb. 6Graduate Research Consortium, 6-8 p.m., Center for Black Culture and Research.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 11blood drive, 5 p.m., WVU Student Recreation Center.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 17Black History Trivia Night, 7 p.m., (location to be announced).
  • Saturday, Feb. 21Presentation of Black Arts, 7 p.m., Morgantown High School auditorium Friday, Feb. 27High School Minority Law Day, 9 a.m.-3:15 p.m., WVU College of Law; Talent Show, 7-10 p.m., G-24 Eiseland Hall.

Events for the month are being booked daily. For more information, contact the center online athttp://www.wvu.edu/~cbcror call 304-293-7029.