In elementary school, I remember writing book reports or making projects about famous African Americans in February to celebrate Black History Month. Years later, I still see that Black History Month is celebrated beyond elementary school and how it is honored in college communities. What’s even more awesome to see is that these events happen everywhere, on practically every campus, not just Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Schools come up with really fun and interesting ideas to draw attention to the campus community. Here are some ways schools participated in Black History Month last month!
Honoring with facts
Some ways that colleges remembered and honored African Americans is through guest lecturers on campus. For example, St. Joseph’s College in New York had Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts speak on its campus. Dr. Butts is a pastor in a nationally recognized church in NYC as well as the president of State University of New York College at Old Westbury. In Dr. Butt’s lecture, he had a really great point:
“To be ignorant of African history, and the history of African people, is to deny your very humanity.”
Hearing personal experiences and opinions from an outside and professional source can definitely shed a new light onto peoples’ opinions about certain aspects of society. Though some like to stay clear of lectures due to length or tediousness, many should reconsider that next time they hear about the option of attending a lecture—who knows what you may learn, and from whom?
Remembering with arts
Some colleges opted for a visual way of celebrating Black History Month. Some schools, including California State University Bakersfield, hosted film screenings and plays. Other schools like Knox College had fun events such as poetry read by hip-hop poet Black Ice.
When people, especially college students, are able to learn new things in an interesting and unique way or environment, it really helps them absorb and understand information.
Celebrating with food
Being someone who loves to eat, this is my favorite way of celebrating Black History month! Many schools’ dining halls served “soul food” during the month of February to honor African Americans. My school, Boston University, actually did this one evening during the month! For the dinner, they served different soul food such as fried chicken, biscuits, macaroni and cheese, fried catfish, corn bread, and other delicious offerings.
Food is definitely a great way to grab peoples’ attention! Students are always pouring in and out of campus dining halls, and special themed nights don’t go unnoticed--what college student doesn’t love food?
Black History is a very important component of history and society today. It’s great to see how celebrations have evolved from elementary school to college. What types of ideas will you bring to college to commemorate Black History month?