To celebrate Black History Month is to celebrate the good and the great in America. It is a time to recognize achievements, leaders and events that shaped a nation and a people. And it is a time to remember the tragedies, continue fighting for equality and justice, and remain committed to keeping our “eyes on the prize.”
So, why do we celebrate this special month? The short answer is that the history of our country is forever intertwined with the history of African Americans. To know who we all are and where we are all going, we must understand what has come before us.
Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, wrote: “One can tell a great deal about a people, about a nation, by what it deems important enough to remember.”
He adds, “I would suggest, however, that one learns even more by examining what a nation chooses to forget. What sins of the past, what decisions and what groups are omitted from the national memory reveal not only a great deal about a nation’s history, but about its current political and societal concerns. The challenges of the past and the burden of forgetting weighs heavily on a nation’s subconscious. In the United States, what is often forgotten or undervalued is the history and the experiences of its black citizens.”
That is why Black History Month is so crucial. It is a means toward remembering and valuing, which helps move all of us closer to a better future.
Our campus community is driven by justice and is unswerving in its efforts to lift the underserved and the underrepresented. Further, each one of us has a role to play and has the opportunity to be a champion for inclusivity, equity, and diversity at The Beach.
I am grateful that I have this annual opportunity to commemorate Black History Month and help celebrate some of the campus’ activities marking this special time. Below you will find a copy of the poster that highlights upcoming activities.
I want to thank everyone involved in creating these important events that help us remember, consider and highlight the all-important contributions made by the nation’s Black community.