Two virtual events on tap to celebrate Black History Month

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

The events will explore Black Health and Wellness, which is the Black History Month theme announced by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) for 2022.

At 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17, Wilma Calvert, University of Missouri- St. Louis associate professor of nursing, and AJ Medlock, senior archivist at the historical society, will moderate a panel discussion on "The Role of Black Nurse Activists in Improving the Health of St. Louis." Presented in partnership with the Black Nurses Association of Greater St. Louis, panelists include Shuron Jones and Brittany Ferrell.

Jones, who is a history instructor at UMSL and a doctorate candidate at Saint Louis University, will discuss the 1970s work of nurse Zenobia Thompson in opposing the closure of Homer G. Phillips Hospital by the city of St. Louis.

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

At 3 p.m. Feb. 22, Joan Stack, historical society art curator, will present "Exploring Black Health and Wellness Through a Collection of Historical Images."

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

Both events are free to the public and will be held virtually via Zoom. Registration is available on the society's website at

The State Historical Society hosts many digital resources for those studying the experiences of Black Americans in Missouri. Past presentations of the African American Experience in Missouri 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 for exploring the lives of Black Americans in Missouri. Visit the guide at