Several guest speakers dot this year’s African-American History Month events at Collin College, bringing a wealth of experience and research to their topics. The speaking engagements are just some of this month’s events, which also include exhibitions, performances, movie screenings and more, with the theme “African Americans in Times of War: A Quest for Unity in Diversity.”

“While fighting for their country, African Americans faced numerous social injustices due to the color of their skin and experienced racism in the very system they fought to protect,” said African-American History Month Committee Chairperson Professor Cathy Donald-Whitney. “I think it is vital for all of us to reflect on internal conflicts that can and have led to injustices that divide our country and are counterproductive to the freedoms that soldiers have fought to protect.”

For a full list of this month’s events, click here for the district AAHM calendar.

On Thursday, Feb. 8, Dr. Lee Martin, will explore the history of Quakertown, an African-American community in 1920s Denton whose residents were forced out to make room for a new city park. The event is background for Martin’s novel, Quakertown. A professor of English at Ohio State University, Lee was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Bright Forever. The author of several fiction and non-fiction books and short stories, Martin is the winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. Martin’s presentation is from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8 at the Central Park Campus Conference Center. It is presented in cooperation with Friends of McKinney Libraries.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, former Black Panther Party member Akintunde Funso will speak about his history with the organization and his views on modern race relations. His presentation will be from 1-2:15 p.m., Feb. 13 in the Preston Ridge Conference Center.

On Thursday, Feb. 15, Dr. Eric McDaniel, associate professor of government at The University of Texas at Austin, will speak on “Race Wars: Incivility and Freedom of Speech on College Campuses.” The author of the book Politics in the Pews: The Political Mobilization of Black Churches and multiple journal articles on the intersection of race, religion and politics, McDaniel’s presentation will be from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Central Park Campus Conference Center.

The last guest speaker of the month will be Dr. Lora Burnett, a teaching fellow in history at The University of Texas at Dallas, who will present “Cultural Wars of 1980s” from 1-2:15 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Spring Creek Campus Living Legends Conference Center.

Speakers are just part of the cultural celebration, though. Other events include an exhibition celebrating the contributions of African Americans to medicine, mathematics, engineering and other sciences called “The Creative Mind: Organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine” and showings of the movies Queen of Katwe and Hidden Figures.