Black History Month 2024 Workshop Series

Join us in the month of February for Black History Month Workshops and Events!

Please note: Workshops will be held in-person on Palomar College’s San Marcos Campus (locations are noted for each workshop, below) or virtually on Zoom.

Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971

Presenter: Samantha Jean Wilson (she/her/they)

The long overlooked early contributions by Black Americans to film. We will explore the little known titles, actors and directors that have had a pivotal role in shaping the way film is presented, made and viewed.

February 5th, 6:00-7:30 pm

Zoom Link:

Therapeutic Art Session

Presenter: Cynthia May

We will be creating a painting that will help us relax and decrease stress while expressing ourselves artistically.

February 6th, 1:30-2:30 pm

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): MD-221

The Art of Being Black

Presenter: Starla Lewis, Professor Emeritus (she/her/hers)

This workshop will show how Black people see themselves, heal themselves, love themselves, and validate themselves through the arts.

February 7th, 12:00-1:00pm

Zoom Link:

Colorism Within Our Society

Presenter: Janelle Harvey (She/Her)

This workshop will cover what colorism exactly is and how it affects certain individuals, primarily amongst Black and African American communities.

February 9th, 3:00-4:00pm

Zoom Link:

Buying Black

Presenters: Diane “ReDD” Moore (They/Them/Theirs)

We will discuss the disconnect between Black Owned Businesses and the Black Community – what it says about us to society and to us.

February 15th, 1:00-2:00pm

Zoom Link:

Creativity. Community. Culture. The unifying power of artful expression

Presenter: Mr. Dana Satterwhite (He/Him/His)

Come hear Mr. Satterwhite’s experience from an art student to an advertising professional who builds community through the use of creativity that transcend boundaries and brings people together.


A native New Yorker, Dana is a writer and creative director working professionally in the field of advertising. He brings 25+ years of creative communication experience.

Dana’s work has been recognized by the One Show, the Andys, the Kelly Awards, the Obies, the Clios, the Effys, New York Festivals, Communication Arts, Lurzer’s Archive, and at Cannes. He has worked extensively in the automotive category, touching brands like Mercedes Benz, Ford, and Lincoln, and has stretched far beyond that into categories including healthcare, finance, fashion, entertainment, apparel, sports, spirits, travel and tourism, and casual dining.

On the personal side, Dana has self-published the Go, Go, Greta children’s book series and in February 2012, he founded and ran TastySpace gallery and exhibition space in Las Vegas. In 2015, he relocated to Houston to be closer to family and more recently pulled up stakes and landed in Kansas City, where he is heading up several pieces of business, including Red Lobster and AMC Theatres at Barkley, as SVP, Creative Director.

He is married and the father of two incredible children who inspire him everyday.

February 16th, 3:00-4:00pm

Zoom Link:

Soul Swap Meet

The Waines Agency Creators of The Soul Swap Meet and Palomar College Presents: The Ultimate Campus Marketplace Celebration for Black History Month. Dj, Food Trucks, Products, Black Owned Businesses, and More!

February 17th, 11:00-3:00pm

Location: Palomar College, 1140 W. Mission Road, San Marcos, CA 92069. In front of the SU (Student Union) and MD buildings.

The Art of Black Matriarchy

Presenter: Samantha Jean Wilson (She/Her)

An overview of current Black cis female and trans visual artists contributing to shaping our views of society.

February 20th, 6:00-7:30pm

Zoom Link:

Flute Music by Black Composers

Presenters: Professor Alina Steele (She/Her)

An afternoon of discovery of the flute music of Black composers, featuring a performance by Prof. Alina Steele.

February 20th, 1:00-1:45pm

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): Performance Lab (D10)

Umoja Movie Night and Discussion

Presenter: Professor Richard Carr (He/Him/His)

Come watch Spike Lee’s “School Daze” and join us in a discussion about colorism and Black representation in higher education.

School Daze is a 1988 American musical comedy film written and directed by Spike Lee and starring Lee along with Laurence Fishburne (credited as Larry Fishburne), Giancarlo Esposito, and Tisha Campbell. Released on February 12, 1988, by Columbia Pictures as Lee’s second feature film, and based partly on his experiences as a student at Morehouse College in the Atlanta University Center during the 1970s, it is a story about undergraduates in a fraternity and sorority clashing with some of their classmates at a historically black college during homecoming week. It also touches upon issues of colorism, elitism, classism, political activism, hazing, groupthink, female self-esteem, social mobility, and hair texture bias within the African-American community.

Please note: the movie is rated “R” for its use of strong language and violence.

February 21st, 5-8pm

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): MD-157

Africa’s Legacy in Mexico

Presenter: Professor Sherehe Hollins (She/Her/Hers)

This workshop shines light upon Africa’s legacy in Mexico by highlighting the pre Colombian African presence in America, Africa’s influence in Spain, colonialism in New Spain and its effects on the formation of a Mexican identity. The purpose of the workshop is to share a relevant and oftentimes obscured part of our history. The goal of the workshop is to help attendees see themselves, their history and their culture reflected in African history, from the past to the present.

February 22nd, 9:30-10:30am

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): MD-328

Mesa Rim (North City) Black History Month Celebration

Come climb with Palomar College’s Umoja Community at Mesa Rim North City to celebrate Black History Month! Free entry and climbing gear.

Raffle proceeds will benefit Palomar’s Umoja Club

February 22nd, 5 – 8pm

Address: 285 Industrial St, San Marcos, CA 92078

Mesa Rim Climbing Center Visitors Agreement

Mesa Rim Climbing Center Acuerdo del Visitante

More Information:

Mesa Rim North City Website

Drone Tour of Mesa Rim North City

Unraveling the Elements of Urban Inspired Art

Presenter: Artist Joseph Watson (He/Him/His)

In this workshop, artist Joseph Watson will share many examples of his urban inspired works of art that include paintings, drawings and commissioned work throughout his career. His work is story-driven and has a narrative of struggle, inner beauty and persistence, which is something common in the African American experience. He will also show examples of how he took everyday occurrences to construct compelling images that are universal and timeless to the viewer.

Bio: Joseph Watson also known from his signature “JOEE” grew up in Gardena, CA. Art has been a creative escape for him ever since his youth. Throughout the years, Joseph had the opportunity to be influenced not only by great creative mentors, but also by the wonderful Los Angeles landscape where everyday life was unique and filled with excitement, danger, culture and love. It’s obvious that Joseph is an observer of everyday occurrences. His work can be described as daily life driven by story and transformation. In 1998, he graduated with honors from the Prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. This was a true test of his dedication, creativity and strength. 

Life after college opened his eyes to many opportunities where his work could be applied. This included everything from doing concepts for major video game companies, toy design at Mattel, founding his gallery that ran for 12 years, philanthropic endeavors with art, mentoring, television appearances and children’s book development to name a few. Also, Joseph is the Illustrator of the Go, Go, Greta children’s book series. His art is timeless and is something that stays with you long after you encounter it for the first time.


social: @josephwatsonart

February 23rd, 6:00-7:00pm

Zoom Link:

Two Interpretations of Octavia Butler’s Short Story “Bloodchild”

Presenters: Dr. Rafiki Jenkins (He/His) and Dr. Martin Japtok

This workshop will present two differing (though not mutually exclusive) interpretations of Octavia Butler’s famous short story “Bloodchild”, which focuses on a group of humans who have fled Earth and are surviving on a planet whose original inhabitants are insect-like, powerful beings with whom humans live in an uneasy co-existence, but a lack of other options leaves the humans little choice but to submit to unusual birthing process to which the aliens subject selected humans. A summary of the story can be found here:

Jerry Rafiki Jenkins, Ph.D. Biography

Rafiki, who received his doctorate from UCSD, is Professor of English at Palomar College and a Lecturer at San Diego State University. He is the author of Anti-Blackness and Human Monstrosity in Black American Horror Fiction (2024) and The Paradox of Blackness in African American Vampire Fiction (2019). He also co-edited, with Martin Japtok, Human Contradictions in Octavia E. Butler’s Work (2020) and Authentic Blackness/Real Blackness: Essays on the Meaning of Blackness in Literature and Culture (2011).

Martin Japtok, Ph.D. Biography

Martin received his M.A. in American Studies from the Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany and his Ph.D. in English (with an emphasis in African American literature) from UC Davis. He is the author of Growing Up Ethnic: African American and Jewish American Nationalism and the Bildungsroman (2005), the editor of Postcolonial Perspectives on Women Writers from Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S. (2003), and co-editor, with Rafiki Jenkins, of Authentic Blackness/”Real” Blackness: Essays on the Meaning of Blackness in Literature and Culture (2011) and of Human Contradictions in Octavia E. Butler’s Work (2020). In 2022, one of his essays (“Colson Whitehead’s The Intuitionist, the Internet, and Techno-Utopianism”) received the 2021 Weixlmann Prize from African American Review for the best essay about 20th and 21st century literature in that year.

February 26th, 1:00-2:30pm

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): H-213

Culinary Therapy: Impact of the African Diaspora on Food and Medicine Practices

Presenter: Mercedes Tiggs (She/Her)

Uncover the historical and cultural roots of African Diasporic cuisine. Learn how the movement of people across continents has influenced the development of unique flavors, cooking techniques, and medicinal practices that are deeply intertwined with the African Diaspora’s identity.


Mercedes Tiggs is an educator, professor, consultant, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Mercedes received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from San Diego State and Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing, Planning, and Administration from the University of Southern California. Mercedes is an  Assistant Professor/Behavioral Health Counselor with Behavioral Health Counseling Services at Palomar College. She recently spent 7 1/2 years as an Academic Counselor supporting special populations. Mercedes is an interactive, family-systems therapist. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. Mercedes has worked with clients of different ages, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. She utilizes a multidimensional approach to therapy, exploring each individual’s biological, psychological, social, physical, and spiritual needs. As an interactive, family-systems therapist, she desires to come alongside others to assist them in healing from trauma, building self-worth, improving communication in their relationships, and reaching their goals.

February 27th, 1:00-2:00pm

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): MD-131

Blood Drive

Help save a life by donating blood!

February 27th and 28th, 9:00-3:00pm

Palomar College San Marcos Campus Library (LRC Building)

The Rhythm Keepers – “Whatever Happened to Baby Esther?

Presenter: Kellie Davis (She/Her)

Whatever happened to Baby Esther?” is an auxiliary short play that accompanies a full-length play entitled “The Rhythm Keepers”. The Rhythm Keepers and its canon of workshops explore the themes of grief, mental health, and the often stolen and forgotten history of Black cultural contributions, with their long-lasting effects still deeply felt within the Black community. After the short play performance, a one-hour Q&A facilitated by the playwright will follow, to discuss some of the themes of the piece and explore ways to heal ourselves from the effects of depression and trauma.

February 28th, 2:00-3:00pm

In-Person (San Marcos Campus): D-10

Black Deaf History

Presenter: Professor David Hamilton (He/Him)

This workshop will cover Black deaf history dated from segregation in the early 1900’s and the development of their own sign language – ” Black Sign Language”.

February 29th, 2 – 3pm

Zoom Link:

Representation Matters!

Presenter: Samantha Jean Wilson (She/Her/They)

Representation in children’s education and literature and how it matters to our holistic development as a society. This will feature original educational material from the 1950’s through today.

February 29th, 6:00-7:30pm

Zoom Link: