FLC’s Black History Month Committee Holds Hybrid Painting Event

Students celebrated Black History Month through art and creative self expression at paint night



From left to right, committee members Jemina Molines, FCLC ’21; and Katelyn Figueroa, FCLC ’24; pose with event participants Mary Olivette Bookman, FCLC ’24; Molly Schwarz, FCLC ’21; and Samantha Yu, FCLC ’21, and their finished paintings.


Fordham’s Black History Month Committee hosted a hybrid paint night Feb. 19 to celebrate Black history through the use of art and self expression. Students signed up to receive a paint kit and were able to pick out stickers when they arrived. Those who attended the event virtually were shipped their paint kits ahead of time so that they could participate without issue. As more attendees arrived, they spread among the tables with their canvases and paint and began to work on and personalize their projects. 

Students quickly fell into conversation with those sitting nearby while they painted and made use of their time to interact with peers in person rather than through a computer screen. Relaxing and mindfully mingling was a welcome respite from homework and quickly approaching midterms. 

Molly Schwarz, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’21, said that she was “really glad that this event (was) being held because even in the midst of the pandemic … it’s important to celebrate these things,” and that the paint night was “a nice thing to do in the middle of the semester.”

Students took the better part of two hours working on their paintings as music from artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna played in the background.

Both the pandemic and this semester’s snow days forced the Black History Month Committee to restructure its plans and events so that they are safe and accessible. Paint night was originally scheduled to be held on Feb. 4, but after more than a foot of snow fell on Feb. 1 and 2, the event was postponed. 

According to LC Cultural Programming Coordinator Jemina Molines, FCLC ’21, each committee’s goal is to have at least one or two events on campus; ensuring that the event is something students can safely attend is a priority. Molines and fellow committee member Katelyn Figueroa, FCLC ’24, attended paint night on campus, and Laura Vasquez, FCLC ’22, handled the virtual portion of the event so that students could take part in the communal event regardless of whether they were on campus this semester.

Students took the better part of two hours working on their paintings as music from artists like Beyoncé and Rihanna played in the background. While everyone did not stay for the entire event, all the participants worked and chatted throughout their time there. 

Mary Olivette Bookman, FCLC ’24, said that she was grateful for the events the Black History Month Committee has been holding because of the difference from how Black History Month was celebrated where she grew up and because the events provide “an outlet to celebrate this month, this amazing month.” 

The committee has held several events already, including a discussion on music and dance that Bookman attended on Feb. 8. Some committee members and students who attended expressed their anticipation for the Love Your Natural Hair Panel and subsequent giveaway set for Feb. 22 and 25 respectively. 

Molines is proud of her committee members’ dedication and creative ideas and is “happy with any event turn out.” She is especially grateful for the virtual attendance the Black History Month Committee’s events have since it can be “frustrating for people to be on Zoom outside of classes” after last year’s reliance on the platform. Students both on and off the committee, like Bookman, Schwarz and Figueroa, are grateful for the events and the chance to celebrate Black History Month despite the complications and safety concerns that come with organizing them.