MTSU Black History Month keynote features ‘black-i...

MTSU Black History Month keynote features ‘black-ish’ actor Marcus Scribner

Middle Tennessee State University will shine the spotlight on “African Americans in the Arts” for the 2024 Black History Month observance throughout February, highlighted by an upcoming appearance by beloved young actor Marcus Scribner — best known as Andre “Junior” Johnson in the syndicated comedy series, “black-ish.”

Marcus Scribner

Scribner will serve as this year’s Black History Month keynote speaker from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building, 516 Alma Mater Drive on campus.

The 23-year-old actor will be interviewed on stage by a member of MTSU’s Black History Month Committee as part of the evening program, which is free and open to the public.

Danielle Rochelle, director, Office of Intercultural and Diversity Affairs
Danielle Rochelle

“It will be a moderated conversation on his experiences coming of age in the film and television industry,” explained Danielle Rochelle, director of MTSU Intercultural and Diversity Affairs who coordinates the monthlong celebration. “I think his insights will be particularly beneficial to the many MTSU students interested in working in the entertainment industry to hear from someone who starred in a long-running syndicated sit-com and interacts with some of the top names in the profession.”

Scribner began his screen career at the age of 10 in the crime series, “Castle,” before landing his role in “black-ish,” and later in the spinoff, “grown-ish.”

He won Outstanding Supporting Actor at the NAACP Image Awards for the role. He also has a role in the 2022 Netflix feature, “How to Blow Up a Pipeline” as well as voiceover work in the animated “She-Ra and the Princess of Power” and Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur.”

Black History Month events at MTSU

With activities focused on film, fashion, stage and music in line with this year’s theme, other events scheduled for the month include:

• The “Color the Runway Fashion Show,” set for 6-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, in the Student Union Ballroom, with styling produced and presented by MTSU students.

Brandice Daniel

• MTSU Textiles, Merchandising, and Design will host fashion icon and Memphis native Brandice Daniel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, in Keathley University Center Theater. Daniel, founder and CEO of Harlem’s Fashion Row and ICON360, has worked to bridge the gap between multicultural designers and the fashion industry by providing opportunities to showcase their skills and talents. Nia Allen, MTSU Diversity Dissertation Fellow, will interview Daniel on stage. The public is invited to attend this free event.

• “Showtime at the Apollo,” a talent showcase featuring over a dozen student acts, will be held from 7-9 p.m. Feb. 28 in the James Union Building Ballroom, 516 Alma Mater Drive. A student favorite since its debut a few years ago, the event pays homage to the popular show filmed at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, that provides a stage for aspiring amateur artists to test their talents before a raucous crowd.

Students show off their talent at the university’s third annual "Showtime at the Apollo" student talent contest held in February 2020 in celebration of Black History Month. (MTSU file photo by Cat Curtis Murphy)
Students show off their talent at the university’s annual “Showtime at the Apollo” student talent contest held in February each year to celebrate Black History Month. (MTSU file photo by Cat Curtis Murphy)

“‘Showtime at the Apollo’ is a variety show,” Rochelle said. “It’s very high energy and students really enjoy it. The university has such a wealth of amazingly talented students and ‘Apollo’ usually provides a few surprises from those brave enough to step up on that stage.”

Angela Tipps, senior instructor, MTSU School of Music
Angela Tipps
Dr. Raphael Bundage, vocal performance professor, MTSU School of Music
Dr. Raphael Bundage

• The month concludes with “Glory! A Choral Concert for Black History Month,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 29. The SOAL and TEBA chorales, Schola Cantorum and MTSU Singers from the MTSU School of Music will perform a free concert in Hinton Hall in Wright Music Building, 1439 Faulkinberry Drive.

Under the direction of Raphael Bundage and Angela Tipps, the program will feature selections by Black composers, including the award-winning song, “Glory!” written by John Legend, Common and Rhymefest for the movie “Selma.”

In the fall of 2020, the MTSU Men’s Chorale recorded an arrangement of “Glory” featuring renowned university alumni Devin Bowles, now starring in the touring musical production of “MJ, the Musical” and renowned performer Caleb Mitchell.

All remaining Black History Month events are free and open to the public. Visit to learn more about Black History Month at MTSU.

— Nancy DeGennaro (

Marcus Scribner keynote flyer