The Importance of Black History Month

By Haley Nagel, reporter.

To celebrate Black History Month in America, it’s important to understand the origin. Carter Godwin Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of African Life and History in 1915 – the first organization with intentions to promote studying black history in schools and to acknowledge black excellence, instead of solely white.

“If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition,” said Woodson.

According to Time, Black History Month started as an extension of Black History Week in 1926 (officially recognized by U.S. government in 1976) by means of the father of black history, Carter Godwin Woodson.

Woodson’s push for change was undoubtedly effective, initiating a national observance of black history month, not only recognized, but celebrated with admiration every year in the month of February.

Americans celebrate throughout the month with luncheons, conferences, commemorations, quiz bowl and more. Colleges and universities often schedule entertaining, themed events with intentions to observe black history. Common campus events include lectures, film screenings, discussions and book drives. Many colleges have unique events related to the institution’s traditions and history – such as Howard University of Washington. According to Campus Lately’s website, the University hosts an annual Bison Market on Feb. 23 that allows students to showcase music, food, art and more.

This February, at Delta, we are honoring those who came before us and we are recognizing those who are doing great things today. In efforts to create an awareness and educate students about black history, students at Delta are encouraged to participate in trivia games, “Living Inspiration” speeches and “Human Library” interviews.

While these events are aimed to educate, they also bring black students together in the process. Delta has a strong black community already, and national commemorations in the month of February inspire students to appreciate it that much more. Some might need to feel a sense of belonging at school more than others, so it’s vital to always keep moral strong within the community through dedicated events and social gatherings.

It’s important, not just for the black community, but all members of society that identify with minority groups to feel accepted. In the United States, there are over 50 recognized history months dedicated to this fraction of the population. To just name a few: Hispanic heritage, LGBTQ, Irish-American heritage and women’s history. Each history and awareness month deserves to be equally supported; great pride is taken ensuring celebration to the fullest potential.

Our lives as individuals of all backgrounds and race are fluid. The hope is that people are able to unite to reflect, learn, laugh and grow. After all, America is a melting pot. Regardless of heritage and identity, we are all human.

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