SMC Presents Black History Series with Free Events


Santa Monica College (SMC) continues its ongoing Black History Series, launched in 2016, with a selection of free events that include informative talks, discussions, and author readings, and a workshop for students interested in applying to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities). The series opens each February in honor of Black History Month and continues through the spring semester. Most events will be held online or on SMC’s main campus at 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, or Malibu Campus at 23555 Civic Center Way, Malibu. Seating for on-campus events is strictly on a first-arrival basis.

For spring 2024, SMC’s Black History Series activities include:

• Saturday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.: “The Black College Expo” — LA Convention Center — Free with Student I.D., but requires pre-registration (see Feb. 10 listing at for details and transportation form): SMC and local high school students are invited to attend an exciting event with opportunities to win cash and prizes. The Black College Expo is a great way for students to meet with representatives from more than 50 colleges, get fast answers to questions, and find out about a variety of educational resources. Students can even get accepted to a college and apply for scholarships on the spot. SMC transfer students should bring along their transcripts from all colleges they have attended. High school students in the 12th grade (or even the 11th) should bring their transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores. Transportation and lunch will be provided.

• Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m.: Jason Mott: “Exploring Identity, Love, and Being Black in America in Fiction Writing” — Online — Free, but requires pre-registration (see Feb. 20 listing at for details): New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott (pictured top left) will talk about his recent novel “Hell of a Book.” Deeply honest, at times electrically funny, the fictional story of an author on a cross-country publicity tour goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans and America as a whole. The novel won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction and the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction, and was a Carnegie Medals for Excellence Longlist nominee. Mott is the author of two poetry collections and four novels. His first novel, “The Returned,” was adapted for television and aired on ABC under the title “Resurrection.” Sponsored by the SMC Library and Library Speakers Consortium in collaboration with the SMC Associates. Part of the SMC Library’s Pearls & Insights series.

• Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 3:45 p.m.: Workshop: “How to Transfer to a HBCU” — Student Services Center (SSC 291) — Free, but requires pre-registration (see Feb. 27 listing at for details): A short, highly informative workshop will present information on the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), answer questions about the requirements and deadlines that must be met to apply and be accepted at a HBCU, and how SMC students can secure guaranteed admission to a variety of participating HBCUs. Sponsored by SMC’s General Counseling & Transfer Services and Black Collegians Umoja Community. Refreshments will be provided.

• Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 11 a.m.: Lucas Rivera: “My AfroRican State of Soul” — Malibu 202 (SMC Malibu Campus, 23555 Civic Center Way, Malibu) — Free, but requires pre-registration (see Feb. 28 listing at for details): Multidisciplinary artist Lucas Rivera (pictured bottom right) will present a book talk and interactive performance reflecting his autobiographical “My AfroRican State of Soul,” a blend of narrative nonfiction and poetry that chronicles his journey across the country doing spoken word and interactive discussions. Rivera presents the perspective of an Afro-Latino as he discusses his life, how art — from turntables to dance, spoken word, painting, and stained glass — was a means of survival, and the important influences of the intersections of the Taino, Spanish, and African cultures that make up the history of Puerto Rico. Sponsored by the SMC Associates, SMC Black Collegians, and SMC Adelante Club. Part of the SMC Literary Series.

• Thursday, Feb. 29, at 11:15 a.m.: Brianna Harvey (pictured, top right): “Lessons in Liberation: How Black Youth and Families Resist Oppression” — Hybrid: Online and in SMC Student Equity Center (Cayton Center, Lower Level, Room 010) — Free, but requires pre-registration (see Feb. 29 listing at for details): CSU Fullerton Assistant Professor of Sociology Brianna Harvey will discuss her research examining how carceral systems use policies, practices, and other mechanisms of control to perpetuate anti-blackness and impact the lives of Black youth and their families. With a focus on legacies of Black resistance and liberation, she will draw connections between the institution of slavery, the prison industrial complex, and the ways Black youth and their families continue to subvert carceral subjugation. Dr. Harvey is a former Student Service Specialist for the SMC Guardian Scholars Program. Her previous research explored the K-12 educational experiences of Black foster youth, with attention to the ways schools and the foster system colluded to shape their lives inside and outside of the school setting. Sponsored by the SMC Student Equity Center.

All events are subject to change without notice, and additional events may be added to the series. The views expressed by presenters are their own and their participation in any Santa Monica College program does not imply any SMC endorsement or recommendation of them or any entity or product they represent.

For more information, please call SMC’s Office of Public Programs at 310-434-4100.

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

Share post:

More like this

Mayor Brock Hosts Townhall Tonight at Headspace on Michigan Ave

Santa Monica Mayor Phil Brock will host an open...

Study: More Evidence That Safer Streets Don’t Hurt Local Business

Photo: Adam Coppola | It’s raining men (dead presidents, we...

12 PAL Youth Awarded $38,000 In Scholarships at Chris Carrey PAL Education Fund Celebration

The following is a submission from the Police Athletics...

Incomplete Streets Part 1: How Caltrans Shortchanges Pedestrians

Kendra Ramsey and Laura McCamy of CalBike and Laura...