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More than just a month: Wooster acknowledges Black History

Aubri McKoy

Contributing Writer

Black History Month is an annually observed celebration of the African-American community, in addition to the commemoration of significant people and events in the history of the African diaspora. In the United States of America, this celebration takes place throughout the entire month of February.

Prior to celebrating for an entire month, Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History proclaimed that the second week of February would be “Negro History Week.” These dates were intentionally chosen as a reflection of preexisting celebrations of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. Both of these individuals played integral  roles in the lives of black people in the United States. The intended goal of Negro History Week was to educate, as the nation’s public school systems had been teaching eurocentric curriculum. 

It was important to Carter G. Woodson that in using education as a vehicle, the history of the African-American community would be recorded, learned and sustained. Woodson said, “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” As such, Negro History and its evolution into Black History Month (1970) has been seen as an opportunity to educate the nation on the contributions black people have made to society, as well as the hardships they have endured.

The Co-President of The College of Wooster’s Black Women’s Organization (BWO), Alana Smith ’20, reflected on what Black History Month means to her, saying, “[Black History Month is] a 28-day observation of a culture of people who have timelessly resisted the acceptance of mediocrity. I am astonished by the ability of my people to continuously demonstrate nothing short of excellence. I adore us. I aim to do everything in my power to honor the rich history birthed of my ancestors, who instilled an ability to make something from nothing.”

 The College of Wooster has traditionally celebrated Black History Month in the form of programming, lectures and events. This year will be no different, as there will be a variety of opportunities to engage with students and faculty who are proudly honoring the rich histories and cultural traditions of African-Americans in the U.S. Some upcoming events are listed below: 

•More Than a Month Tabling – Feb. 12 & 14 in Lowry Student Center from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs. 

• Soul Food Dinner – Feb. 14 in Kittredge at 7 p.m. (Sponsored by Women of Images)

• AOKI Film Screening – Feb. 19 in Kauke Hall from 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (Sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs)

• More Than a Month Tabling – Feb. 21 in Lowry Student Center from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. (Sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs) 

• Pre-Concert Reception w/ Mourning [A] BLKstar – Feb. 22 in Babcock Formal Lounge from 5-6:30 p.m. (Sponsored by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion)

• Live Performance: Mourning [A] BLKstar – Feb. 22 in The Alley from 7-9p.m. (Sponsored by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion)

• Sadie Hawkins Dance – Feb. 23 in Lowry Ballroom at 8 p.m. (Sponsored by Women of Images). 

More information on events can be found on posters around campus or by contacting representatives from the sponsors listed above. All events are inclusive of all individuals and encourage participation from all genders, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and backgrounds. Black History Month is about celebration and education, and as a Wooster community dedicated to diversity and inclusion, it is important to celebrate one another and the unique experiences that each member of this community has.

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