Two virtual events in sight to celebrate Black History Month

The State Historical Society of Missouri is hosting two free virtual events for Black History Month.

Events will explore black health and well-being, which is the theme of Black History Month announced by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) for 2022. .

At 6:30 p.m. on February 17, Wilma Calvert, associate professor of nursing at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and AJ Medlock, Senior Archivist at the Historical Society, will host a panel discussion on “The Role of Black Nurse Activists in Improving St. Louis Health.” Presented in partnership with the Black Nurses Association of Greater St. Louis, panelists include Shuron Jones and Brittany Ferrell.

Jones, who is a professor of history at UMSL and a doctoral candidate at Saint Louis University, will discuss the 1970s work of nurse Zenobia Thompson to oppose the closing of the Homer G. Phillips Hospital by the city of Saint Louis.

Ferrell, who is a registered nurse, activist and graduate of the UMSL College of Nursing, will discuss her current work to improve black maternal and child health outcomes, guided by her participation in the 2014 Ferguson protests and her time as a as a labor and delivery nurse.

At 3 p.m. on February 22, Joan Stack, the historical society’s art curator, will present “Exploring Black Health and Well-Being Through a Collection of Historical Imagery.”

Offered in partnership with MU Libraries, Stack will examine artworks and photographs and detail how these works highlight Black American experiences related to health care and wellness throughout the 20th century. The presentation includes an accompanying exhibit that will be on view February 7 through May 23 in the colonnaded cases of the Ellis Library on the University of Missouri campus.

Both events are free to the public and will take place virtually via Zoom. Registration is available on the company’s website at

The State Historical Society hosts many digital resources for those studying the experiences of Black Americans in Missouri. Past presentations from the Missouri African-American Experience Lecture Series are free and available online.

The African American Experience Research Guide connects website visitors to the lecture series, podcast episodes, digital photographs, scholarly articles, oral histories, and other resources to explore the lives of Black Americans in Missouri. Visit the guide at

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