‘Sense of pride, community’ found through Black History Month kick-off

Black History Month celebrations kicked off with conversations, games and finger foods during the Kick-Off & State of the Black Community Forum & Social hosted by the office of Equity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs members in the Comanche Suites on Feb. 1.

“It is an opportunity for students to come together and connect to begin the month of celebration in observation of Black history culture and tradition,” Syreeta Greene, director equity inclusion and multicultural affairs, said. “This month is a good opportunity for all people to reflect on the contribution, such as beauty and pageantry, from people of the African diaspora, not just in America, but all over the world.”

The office of Equity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs members will host events throughout the month of February in observation of Black History Month—events such as African drum performances and fashion shows.

“This month is important because it shows support for people of every race and is geared toward educating people that life is not about what color we are, but about who we are as people,” Destiny Zenn, biology freshman, said. “Life shouldn’t be about anything other than getting along with one another, despite differences among us.

The month of February was chosen as Black History Month because coincided with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln—both of which were crucial in the emancipation of African-Americans from slavery.

“Black History Month was created to help educate people on what has happened [to African-Americans] in the past and to ensure that we understand the progress we have made,” Michael Washington, second Bachelor’s in sociology student, said. “It is also to help people learn not to let the past hold us back in our lives.”

Through remembrance and celebration, Green said events like the kick off, culture show and more provide an inclusive environment for all students despite the history of separation between races, genders and sexuality.

“Our events are absolutely open to students of any race,” Greene, said. “It is a chance for each person to learn about cultures and traditions they may not be used to and we are hosting these events for the campus to engage in celebration so they have a sense of pride and community.”