Students celebrate culture, recognize history

The African Cultural Association began Black History Month by screening the documentary “The Neo African Americans,” which addresses how African Americans identify themselves in the United States.

This event, held on Wednesday, is one of many that are occurring across campus throughout February. From benefit concerts by the Black Chorus to colloquiums put on by the Department of African American Studies, numerous registered student organizations and University groups are celebrating with diverse events.

“I feel that we need to be educated about black history and not just say, ‘Oh, it’s Black History Month. Let’s just sit down and do nothing,’” said Patricia Bonsu, senior in AHS and vice president of the African Cultural Association. “We need to educate the whole campus, not just black people, (or) white people, (or) Asians, everybody,”

Black History Month was pioneered in the 1920s by Carter G. Woodson, who was an African American historian and scholar to study black history. The event was created to celebrate the culture and history of African Americans. Head of the Department of African American Studies, Ron Jackson said that recognizing Black History Month throughout the month of February is one of the most important ways the history of black people is celebrated.

“The reason we have Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and a variety of other cultural history months is just to remind people that there are a set of important legacies that need to be acknowledged, recognized, and celebrated,” Jackson said.

Jessica Imarenezor, senior in LAS, added that similar to how former servicemen are recognized on Veterans Day, Black History Month provides all Americans with the opportunity to celebrate and recognize the contribution of blacks to the United States’ history and culture.