Monday is the first day of Black History Month. It's a time to celebrate the achievements of African Americans and recognize their role in history. 

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is celebrating all month with special events. Monday night, the university kicked it off with a virtual event.

This year's theme is The Black Family.

Monday night's keynote speaker was David Briscoe, an alumnus of SIU with a doctorate in family sociology.

He talked about what the Black family looks like.

"The Black family has a long history in America: a history of pain, of suffering, inequality and racial injustice. But despite these challenges, the Black family is a viable institution in the 21st century with strength and the joy of kinship," Briscoe said. 

SIU will be holding events all month, including an online hip-hop dance session, which will feature historical and educational perspectives.

For more information on the events the university has in store this February, click here