Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture

Past Programs


Art & Soul 

This event showcases a collection of music, spoken word, and visual art. A neo-soul infused house band, student and local community poets, and student artists are invited to express their art form in a creative and respectful environment.

Contact the Mary Lou Center for more information.


Black & Brown Movements in Print 

A Collection of Newspaper Covers from the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords celebrates and honors the collective solidarity and resistance movements by Black and Latino communities throughout history.

The two-part exhibit, on view at Duke University's Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture and the Center for Multicultural Affairs, includes historic newspaper covers form the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords between 1969-1971.  To view the collection in its entirety, visit the exhibit in both centers.

The included words reference the broad scope of issues that were pertinent to each group, while highlighting their undeniable convergences.  Through the selections are not exhaustive, they reflect the historic representation of Black and Latino community-based organizations during the midst of the civil rights era.​


Black History Calendar

Black History Month 2019 Calendar of Events


Documentary & Dialogue  

In conjunction with area cultural centers, the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture hosts a series of documentary screenings and an accompanying dialogue exploring the intricacies and issues presented in each film.

Contact the Mary Lou Center for more information.

Illuminating Intersections 

Join the CSGD and MLWC in exploring Black and LGBTQ identities and relationships through this collaborative program.  Enjoy thought-provoking performance vignettes by Duke's Me Too Monologues, followed by engaging and provocative conversations surrounding the Black LGBTQ community.  Food will be provided.

Contact the Mary Lou Center for more information.



This year the Mary Lou Williams Center is celebrating Kwanzaa with a focus on the principle of Nia (Purpose). The celebration will feature African drumming, ritual, food, and music in an effort to connect students, faculty, and community members. 

The name Kwanzaa is derived from the phrase "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first fruits" in Swahili, a Pan-African language which is the most widely spoken African language. It originates from the first harvest celebrations of Africa. celebrated December 26 to January 1.



The bLOUprint is the complete slate of programs of the Mary Lou Williams Center initiated and facilitated by students that represent targeted outreach to students of African descent.

This innovative initiative harnesses the creativity and energy of the past year and provides a framework to connect four separate efforts to engage Black students in the life of the University. In the interest of providing a firm foundation upon which to build an academic and professional career, the bLOUprint, which is student initiated and facilitated, provides intentional programming at each stage of the college career and in preparation for the lives' students will lead after Duke.

It provides identity, leadership, and professional development opportunities and support for new and returning students. Students will be invited to participate in the bLOUprint - either in a singular component or multiple facets.