Every year when the calendar turns to February, it’s a time when the country celebrates Black culture — an incredible and beautiful way of life that’s ingrained in our history and has shaped who we are as a society.
For the next 28 days, the Utah Jazz will be honoring that very way of life when it celebrates with Black Experience Month. The Jazz will promote black-owned businesses, celebrate their respective ways of life, and bring honor to those who’ve inspired us to overcome barriers and achieve our goals.
“The Jazz embrace the responsibility and opportunity to use their platform for positive change in the community and we are committed to enhanced efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable future,” said Chief Experience Officer Andrea Williams. “We are excited to celebrate the richness and vibrancy of Black culture as American culture by highlighting its unique talents, contributions and creativity.”
While we honor the past, let’s celebrate the present #BlackExperienceMonth | #BHM2022 pic.twitter.com/eLI36CN3bQ
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 1, 2022
What To Look Forward To:
1.) Player Questionnaires — For members of the Jazz, Black culture has been a vital part of not just the success they’ve had on the court but the overall success they’ve had as individuals growing up.
For all-star guard Donovan Mitchell, his parents have greatly influenced his life. From the lessons his father taught him about being a professional athlete as a member of the New York Mets to how his mom taught him the value of education and being a good man as a teacher, Mitchell was raised with a unique perspective on life that’s allowed him to thrive on and off the court.
Rudy Gay was born into a musical family, understanding the beauty and authenticity of true R&B as his dad was the former lead singer of the R&B group Ace Spectrum and band director for The Stylistics.
Mike Conley comes from one of the most athletic backgrounds of any NBA player, as his father was an Olympic gold and silver medalist in the triple jump while his Uncle was a linebacker in the NFL.
Being raised Black in America is an experience that many will never know or understand, and that’s something the Jazz will look to explore through a series of player questionnaires that will cover a wide range of topics. There will be five questionnaires — Mike Conley, Royce O’Neale, Rudy Gay, Eric Paschall and Trent Forrest — in total, all coinciding with a home game throughout the month.
2.) Black-Owned Businesses — The Jazz will be doing multiple features of many locally-owned businesses because of what they bring to society with their unique traditions, recipes, and ways of life.
*Noir SLC — Venue/Events
*Impact Magazine — Magazine
*Sauce Boss — Food/Drinks
*Icy Mountain Shaved Ice – Food/Drinks
*Ishae Aesthetics — Plastic Surgery
*Soul by Amé — Clothing
*Medium — Studio Space
*Butterfly Colis Project — Hair & Beauty
*NAACP – SLC — Civil Rights Organization
*Kenneth Boggs — Artist/Suit
3.) Sunday Dinner — A huge part of Black culture is the traditional ‘Sunday Dinner’ experience. Whether it be with family or friends, Sunday dinner has become iconic to keep family values alive and pass down family traditions while staying enriched and involved in one another’s lives. It’s also a tradition shared through generations that has expanded into multiple cultures, making the experience live on forever.
As a way of honoring and celebrating this tradition, the Jazz have made a first of it’s kind short film that highlights the complexities and richness of black life and family. Through its team of videographers and designers, the Jazz created a short film showcasing the value of Sunday dinner, the food involved, and the camaraderie that takes place when combining multiple generations at one table.
4.) FICE Gallery Showcase — On Saturday, Feb. 12, the Jazz will host a showcase at FICE Gallery in downtown Salt Lake City to further celebrate the Black experience.
The Sunday Dinner short film will make its much-awaited premiere that night, but that will only be a small taste of what’s to come. There will also be a capsule apparel collection put together by the Utah Jazz marketing team that will debut, as well as artwork by Matthew Sketch.
The public is encouraged to attend the event. The apparel collection will be sold on Feb. 14 on the porch at Vivint Arena prior to that night’s tipoff with Houston. The proceeds will go to local non-profits in Black communities.
Altogether, the night will be an extraordinary and unique experience, dedicated to the relationship between the Utah Jazz and the celebration of Black Experience Month.
| “This is about committing to the things that allow you to win. … I have confidence we can do those things.”
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) February 1, 2022