Black History Month

Feb. 9, 2016

Wilbraham & Monson Academy will be hosting guest lecturers and speakers throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month. Each event will be live streamed at

On Feb. 11, Dr. Amilcar Shabazz and Dr. Kamil Ali will present "The Legacy of Medieval Scholar Ahmed Baba al-Massufi al-Timbukti" to students during all-school meeting. Dr. Shabazz is a senior advisor for diversity and excellence in the Office of the Chancellor and a professor in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Ali has taught a series of courses in Islamic and multicultural studies at Westfield State University and local colleges, including Springfield College, American International College and Western New England College as a faculty adjunct since 1982, before joining the college's Departments of World Languages, Multicultural and Gender Studies in 2006 and then the Department of Ethnic and Gender Studies in 2009.

On Feb. 18, Cliff McCarthy of the Springfield Museums will speak on "John Brown and the League of Gileadites." Cliff McCarthy is the Archivist at the Lyman & Merrie Wood Museum of Springfield History and at the Stone House Museum in Belchertown, where he resides. He is currently President of the Pioneer Valley History Network and is the author or editor of several books about the history of Belchertown. He specializes in local history, genealogy, and African-American history. He holds two master's degrees in other fields and comes to his current endeavors after a professional career in the field of mediation and conflict resolution.

Feb. 25 will feature panelists Wayne Phaneuf of the Springfield Republican, Joe Carvalho, former President of the Springfield Museums and Dennis Picard of Storrowton Village. The panel will explore "The Struggle for Freedom: The History of African-Americans in Western Mass." Mr. Phaneuf is executive editor at The Republican in Springfield, Mass. He began a career in journalism in 1969 for the Springfield Daily News. When the Springfield Morning Union and Daily News merged in 1987, Phaneuf was promoted as managing editor to oversee the local news operation. He was promoted to his present position as executive editor in 1998. Mr. Carvalho is the retired president and executive director (1994-2010) of the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Mass. He currently is a freelance researcher and writer and has co-authored several of the Springfield Republican's regional history books with Wayne E. Phaneuf. Mr. Picard has been a museum professional in the "living history" field for more than 35 years. He began his career at Old Sturbridge Village in Sturbridge, Mass. in 1978, where he eventually spent 12 years filling various positions including "lead interpreter" where he researched and designed many public programs which are still offered by that institution today.

Each presentation will begin at approximately 2 p.m. and Dr. Shabazz will moderate each lecture. Speakers will be available for a meet and greet in Morrow House on the WMA campus following each meeting.

These presentations are made possible by the generous assistance, dedication and research of LuJuana Hood of the Pan African Historical Museum, Michelle Sampson and the Atheneum Society of Wilbraham, Jim and Charlotte Brown and Coralie Gray.