TNE Editor

ABC shares history of Black History Month

Published 2/6/19

Kinsey Shade

TNE Writer

The creation of Black History Month began in 1926 as “Negro History Week,” by Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was a renowned African American historian, scholar, author, journalist and publisher. Woodson would become known as “The Father of Black History.” Woodson’s believed black history was important to learn and understand. It was not just important for the black community but for all people.

In 1976, a week of events was turned into Black History Month. The month of February was chosen to coincide with birthdays of Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave that became leader in the abolitionist movement, and Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. president that declared the proclamation of emancipation of slaves. 

February continues to center on the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history.

The relevance of Black History Month continues to resonate mixed feelings even with members of ABC as they prepare for events this month.

“I feel that black history month should not exist because it shouldn’t be designated to a month,” said LeRoicia Penney, ABC president. “It should be something that we talk about every day.”

Penney said some of the everyday issues that should be brought up are issues like the Black Lives Matter movement. She said she hopes to explain to NSU about how important it is to understand the history behind the fight and not focus on the negativity. She wants people to be aware of the pain behind Black Lives Matter.   

The significance of the month has allowed students to reflect on themselves and grow their desire to share their stories to others. In school and history, the representation of minorities in books are not always reflected in studies.

“All my life living in Oklahoma we learn all types history regarding white people,” said Braelynn Hale, ABC member. “I would think with there being a large Native population here you could learn about their history, as well as the history of black people. I think we should be included considering we are a part of the population.”

ABC members said while growing up they heard their history through coloring sheets and MLK documentaries. However, the real history came from their families and they want to share this with others.   

“This month I find important because I was in an all-white school when I was in high school, and I didn’t have much of black culture or the feel of my community,” said James Morris, ABC member. “So, for those that are like me, they can get to learn more about their culture and more about where they came from and to be connected. If you know of someone to bring them to our events. They may be interested in learning more of black history.

 Black History Month activities begin Wednesday, Feb. 6. They are having a hot chocolate and donut sale in the UC lobby.

“For people that are not in ABC I hope that they can come to our stands and events to learn more about black history,” said Penney.

Every Tuesday during February, ABC has a themed table setup that spotlights different American black history and African history.

On Wednesday, Feb. 13, they invite students to share a meal with them at their Soul Food Dinner. It is free and open to all. Other events throughout the month include multi-cultural speakers, film showings, poetry nights and black history discussions.

For a complete list of Black History Month events or for more information, email Penney at abc@nsuok.edu.


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