SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The University of Southern Mississippi will kick off Black History month Sunday at both its Hattiesburg and Long Beach campuses. The theme for this year's event is "Celebrating 50 Years of African American Excellence at Southern Miss."
As well as paying tribute to influential black leaders throughout history, the theme will also honor the school's 50th anniversary since it became a desegregated institution. In September 1965, Gwendolyn Armstrong and Raylawni Branch became the first African Americans to enroll at USM.
Black History Month got its official designation as a holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1986. It celebrates the contributions that African Americans have and continue to make in American history and culture. Carter G. Woodson is thought of by many as "the father of Black History Month" due to his influential lobbying to establish the holiday.
Listed below is the full schedule of events: