Each year, Monmouth University observes National Black History Month throughout the month of February. Originating in 1926 under the vision of African American historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month provides opportunities for all members of the university to explore the histories, legacies, and current contributions of individuals across the African Diaspora. Join the Black History Month Planning Committee for our month-long virtual event series including events organized by students, faculty, and staff.
In 1959, a young songwriter named Berry Gordy started a record company with an $800 loan from his family. That company, Motown, would not only become the first Black-owned label to reach widespread national success; it would substantially transform music and culture. This three-week course explores the evolution of the label, from its beginnings through its 1960s heyday featuring acts like the Supremes, the Four Tops, and the Temptations. The 1970s brought political statements, youthful pop, and disco, while the 1980s ushered in funk and smooth R&B. Through multimedia presentations and discussions, this three-session virtual course, taught by Kit O’Toole, will cover all these eras, enhancing understanding of Motown’s history and enduring legacy.