Black History Month: Black Resistance Through the Arts Take Center Stage

Following the 2023 national theme, Suffolk plans exhibitions on Black resistance through exhibitions and showcasing hip hop.


Jarrick Ambrose

Malika Batchie Lockhart, head of multicultural affairs, attends the Black History Month kickoff event in the Babylon Student Center on Feb. 8, 2023. (Compass News/Jarrick Ambrose)

Jarrick Ambrose, Staff Writer

Suffolk County Community College is celebrating Black History Month and the 2023 national theme “Black Resistance” with a variety of events showcasing Black resistance through the arts.

Events include decorating competitions, historical exhibitions displaying Black culture, discussions about the Harlem Hellfighters, a trip to the birthplace of hip hop and a chance to celebrate hip hop’s 50th birthday led by EPMD’S Parrish Smith.

“I encourage everyone from every background to get involved, communicate, see how we can connect more through music, art and food,” said Malika Batchie Lockhart, the head of multicultural affairs. “Lean in, find out more about Black history.  Learn our history so we don’t have to repeat it.”

The college is welcoming all students to celebrate, participate, and educate themselves about African American history and its contributions to society, Lockhart said.

Noah Fields, a Student Government Association senator, said he believes the accomplishments of Black people may be overlooked because of the college’s overall demographics.

“Between students and faculty, Black people make up a small percentage of our campus. As a result, achievements are easily overlooked,” Fields said. “Having a time to celebrate gives inspiration to students on the path to greatness.”

According to the “At A Glance” page of Suffolk’s website, the student body is 8.1% Black.

Black Resistance demonstrates how African Americans have remained resilient throughout history in the face of adversity, Lockhart said — persevering despite generational trauma, systemic oppression and prejudiced beliefs, and inspiring generations to continue to aim for greatness.

“Black history is American history,” Lockhart added. “We are all connected.”