Black History Month, the annual celebration of Black Americans’ achievements, became nationally recognized in 1976, after President Gerald Ford called on the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” It was first branded as Negro History Week, by historian Carter G. Woodson.
While it’s widely known that Black History Month is a time to recognize the many achievements of Black and African Americans and their role in American History, Black History Month has a lot of added significance for many individuals. Personally, Black History Month is a time to appreciate the sacrifices made by all those who came before me, and celebrate the long history of contributions made by Black people for the advancement of the United States of America.
Black History Month is also a great time to learn more about the history and traditional music of Black people, celebrate Black culture, and take in so many other new experiences. It is a time to reflect on all of the progress made towards the fight for equal rights as well as next steps to achieve a more equal and equitable society.
This month, Hun has had a plethora of events, each touching on these various topics. There were several trivia and game nights, highlighting prominent Black figures, conversations about deeper topics like reparations, how Black athletes transformed activism, art workshops, and even a soul food cooking demo. The goal of these events was to celebrate Black culture, talk about all of the progress we’ve made, and how far we still have to come.
As we’ve seen, Black History Month is so important for so many reasons; just this summer we saw a rise in the fight to end systemic racism. All over the country we heard situations where Black people were being treated unfairly solely due to the color of their skin. Black History Month does a great job at not only humanizing Black people, but showing just how much they have brought to the table, and how far they have helped this country. It is yet another way for Black people to celebrate and reflect on their history while also trying to create a better life for those to come.