Photo: Miranda Nel
Black History Month (BHM) is a significant month in February, not just for the black community, but for America as a whole. “Black History Month celebrates black culture and the history that has [been] built on the foundation of black identity. It is a month to honor those who have sacrificed their lives to get to the status of equality we are at today,” said Jasmine Baker. Like Baker, forty students on campus voiced their opinions in an online forum on what they believe is the importance and significance of Black History Month
Here are a sampling of the voices on campus that wanted their thoughts to be heard:
“I believe Black History Month is important because we need to be reminded of why things are the way they are and why we need to change them.” – Max Riley
“The significance [of Black History Month] is the way that Black history has changed over the years.” – Micaela
“The significance [of Black History Month] is to acknowledge the amazing people that have done great things to keep peace in the world, as well as advocating for equal rights, and those who have made an impression.” -William Chang
“Black History Month shows the equality of all races; no race is actually superior than the other one. I don’t see everyone as a different race, I see everyone as equals.” -Lydia Leahy
“Black History Month gives a significance to those who actually contribute for America. For me personally, Black History Month goes beyond the month of February, but it’s the month that we have. Black history isn’t just Black history, it’s U.S. history as well.” -Vaughn Hess Jr.
“I think it’s important to understand that I, as a white person, have gained privileges based on African-American struggles, and just realizing that [African-Americans] have helped us get to where we are. Black History is our history. It’s a history of this country too.” -Kaylee
Now that BHM has concluded, it is a good time to reflect on how the month was celebrated here at Stout. There were a lot of great events that happened this past month to commemorate Black history on campus. Bria Thomas, the president of the Black Student Union (BSU), shared what her org did in honor of Black History Month.
“BSU had one event every week to celebrate Black History Month that was open for the public,” said Thomas. Some of the events they held were the Peace March and a speech by an African-American speaker who spoke about his struggles as an African-American man. BSU also decorated the windows of the Robert S. Swanson Library and displayed a table inside the library to bring awareness of Black History Month to other students.
“I hope that campus gains a sense of acceptance of all of its students and understands the importance of diversity when it comes to race. I hope campus celebrates diversity more, and to be more educated on our culture, history, who we are and what we bring to campus,” stated Thomas.
To conclude on BHM, here are some words that a student on campus wanted to share with us:
“Black history is necessary due to the fact [that] black people have been and still are going through oppression. By having a month to look back at some historical Black figures in the past and present is a type of motivation for black people to keep moving forward. [It’s] a reaffirmation that this is where we came from and this is what we can do going forward.” -Deon Canon Jr.