Editorial - Commemorating Black History Month
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 23:02
For many, the month of February’s only distinction is that Valentine’s Day happens to fall in the middle of it.
However, there is another, much more important occasion we should all be marking throughout this month. Black History Month provides a unique opportunity for all Americans to reflect on our history and engage our fellow citizens about the important topic of race-relations in the United States.
Black History Month began in the early 20th century as "Negro History Week," which was intended to coincide with Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays in mid-February.
This occasion steadily gained momentum throughout the 1900s, and in 1976, the U.S. federal government began officially recognizing February as Black History Month. Since that time, an extra effort is made throughout the country each February to increase mutual understanding among America’s diverse population by appreciating the contributions of our African-American community.
Progress has undoubtedly been made when it comes to race-relations in the U.S. But the election of an African-American president does not erase the abhorrent legacy of centuries of institutional racism. For this reason, commemorating Black History Month is as important as it has ever been.
We encourage all WVU students, faculty and community members to attend and participate in the series of Black History Month events that will be hosted on WVU’s campus throughout the coming weeks. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
Feb. 20—Words from one of the "Little Rock Nine" will be held in the Mountainlair Ballroom at 7 p.m. Dr. Terrance Roberts, one of the "Little Rock Nine," who courageously challenged racial segregation in high schools in 1957 will be speaking.
Feb. 21—Brown Bag Lunch and Discussion: The Rosa Parks Story, sponsored by the Center for Black Culture and Research, Gluck Theatre, 1:30 p.m.
Feb. 28- The NFL’s Abdullah Brothers Speak at WVU, sponsored by the College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences and the WVU Muslim Students Association, will be held in the Mountainlair Ballroom at 7 p.m. NFL Players Hamaza Abdullah of the Arizona Cardinals and Husain Abdullah of the Minnesota Vikings will discuss their experiences as Muslims in the NFL.
For more information, check out the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research’s website at cbc.wvu.edu.