When I was younger my family and I were a part of a community of Black families in Milwaukee. Every few months we would go on camping trips together to bond with one another. We had meetings where we learned about our history, culture, traditions, and important life skills in relation to those things. In my high school history class, we learned a more accurate and whole-sided lesson about the Civil Rights Movement that didn’t just teach about Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks. When I came to Northwestern, I realized the majority of people did not have that same privilege growing up. It is rare in this society that we have the chance to explore, learn, and discuss our culture and history, and what it all means for Black people today.
Black History Month carves out a time and space for us to do this. This month, we have the opportunity to explore, celebrate, and learn about Black culture through a variety of events offered on campus. Some highlights include:
- February 18th– Northwestern Women’s Center is sponsoring Dinner with Dynamo, a chance for 15 students to have dinner with Alumna Dorothy Tucker, a reporter for CBS 2 Chicago who has received nine local Emmys.
- February 19th– The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center and African American Student Affairs will be screening “Still Around”, a documentary about stories of people with HIV/AIDS, with a discussion afterwards. Dinner will be provided.
- February 21st– The African Students Association will be hosting their annual culture show, Jabulani, which celebrates different African cultures while providing some fashion, music, and free food.
- February 23rd– Miss Black Wisconsin USA 2015, African American Student Affairs, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. will host a panel and discussion about the representation of Black women in contemporary film and television. The discussion will explore the effects of this representation on how Black women view themselves, and how society views them from a variety of viewpoints.
I hope that you will take the time to attend these and other events taking place throughout the month. I also hope that you will reflect on how our history and culture shapes the lives of Black, African, African American, and Afro Caribbean people today. Although we should be celebrating Black culture and history all year round, Black History Month is a time when we make sure to do so.
Angellic A. Ross is a junior in the School of Communication. She is a student employee for African American Student Affairs.