Explore African-American history and culture with a series of events planned throughout February. Events range from author presentations and guest lecturers to a movie presentation and an annual get together of good food and fellowship.

 “ThinkFast® Interactive” an innovative and experiential entertainment program, will expose students to important African-American History Month (AAHM) educational information in a fun manner. 1-2:15 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1, Central Park Campus Conference Center; 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2, Preston Ridge Campus Conference Center

Dr. Altheria Gaston Caldera, author and researcher, presents her research on the ways identity markers – race, class, gender, sexuality – and their intersection influence the educational experiences of children, as well as ways educators can improve learning outcomes for minoritized populations. Dr. Caldera is Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas A&M University-Commerce. She earned her Ph.D. in curriculum studies from Texas Christian University with a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies, M.Ed. in English Education from the University of West Alabama, and B.A. in English from Stillman College. She is also a writer and cultural critic whose work often explores the experiences of African-American women. 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 2 Spring Creek Campus Conference Center

Dr. Juanita Austin, a retired 24-year academic dean at Collin College and the maternal great-great granddaughter of a former enslaved, illiterate but industrious man, will present her research on her great-great grandfather’s life and legacy of land in the state of Tennessee, despite his inability to read or write. Dr. Austin will tell this remarkable story through lecture and visuals, including photographs of the actual Southern Claims Commission case, which is located at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Noon-2 p.m., Friday, Feb. 3, Spring Creek Campus Conference Center

Collin College’s Auteur Film Series will screen of “12 Years a Slave.” Based on a true story, the movie follows a free African-American who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He struggles to send the letter that will regain his freedom. 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 at The Angelika Film Center in Plano

Dr. Joe Feagin, a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University, will present “How Blacks Built America.” The topic of his latest book, the talk will explore the positive, extraordinary contributions African Americans have made to the United States throughout the country’s history. Dr. Feagin is the recipient of 2013 American Sociological Association’s W.E.B. Du Bois Career of Distinguished Scholarship Award, the 2013 American Association for Affirmative Action’s Arthur Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award, and the 2012 Soka Gakkai International-USA Social Justice Award. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University and his research interests include racial and ethnic studies, gender relations and urban political economy. Included in his numerous publications is “Ghetto Revolts” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and “Living with Racism” and “White Racism” which have won the Gustavus Myers Center’s Outstanding Human Rights Book Award. 1-2:15 p.m., Monday, Feb. 13, Preston Ridge Campus Conference Center

“Ain’t I a Woman,” a dramatic/musical presentation about four prominent African-American women will offer a celebration of diversity though the music and spoken word performance. “Ain’t I a Woman” is a chamber music theatre work performed by actress Shayla Simmons and pianist David Berry, celebrating the lives and times of four significant African-American Women: ex-slave and fiery abolitionist Sojourner Truth, renowned novelist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston, exuberant folk artist Clementine Hunter and fervent civil rights worker Fannie Lou Hamer. The performance’s text is by Kim Hines and the musical score is drawn from the heartfelt spirituals of the Deep South, the urban exuberance of the Jazz Age and concert music by African-American composers, including Diane Monroe. 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21, Central Park Campus Conference Center

The annual Collin College District Soul Food Luncheon, featuring Chef Thomas Nixon is open to all Collin College students, faculty and staff. Bring a dish to share during this yearly time of fellowship. Visit SignUp.com at http://signup.com/go/YqWB3x to provide a dish or bring other materials. Contact Cathy Donald-Whitney at cwhintey@collin.edu to help with setup and/or clean up. Noon, Friday, Feb. 24, Spring Creek Campus Living Legends Conference Center

For more information, contact Professor Cathy Donald-Whitney at cwhitney@collin.edu or Donna Okaro at dokaro@collin.edu.