The beginning of February is a time of history, celebration, and appreciation for those invested and a part of black culture. Black History Month encompasses the milestones made, the organizations formed, the fights for liberation, and the supportive systems of allies. It is also a month of overcoming struggle, realizing that progress cannot be made if one is not passive, but active. As a University, our job is to familiarize ourselves with our demographic of students and make it a safe living learning community. It also our job to be both inclusive and diverse and be mindful of our actions. Black History Month is a time to educate and be aware, it is a time most importantly to create a dialogue with others.
The question now is how can we educate ourselves, be aware, and create dialogue? One way is to read—it is a fundamental tool to immerse yourself in a life that is not your own, while also wondering what other works are out there to inspire and change the way you think.
James Baldwin—a poet, social critic, writer, and essayist created works associated with the racial disparities in America. He also focused on the life of the American Negro.
His novels, essays, and poems can be a great resource to learn about Black History. He can also point you in the direction of other great novelists like: Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph Ellison, and Ta-Nehisi Coates to name a few. Let this February be a time of not only education, but of love, compassion, openness, understanding, creativity, and progress.
Let these three things help you this February:
- Be aware of your peers who may be insensitive to the meaning behind Black History Month. – Do the right thing and educate.
- Spread love and read more. – There is life in the pages of a book.
- Create dialogue. – Be open minded and talk to those who may not be aware. Dialogue can create a space for important issues to be solved.
We can all be servant leaders this February, not only for others but for ourselves! We all contribute to the way we live and learn each day! Be a friend, be an ally, and be involved!
If you want to peek into the life of James Baldwin, check out “I Am Not Your Negro” on February 13th, 2018 in the South Village Great Room from 7:00pm-9:30pm led by RA Eugene Thomas!
*There will be a giveaway of 10 copies of “I Am Not Your Negro” the novel. Five books will be given in the beginning of the program followed by the remaining five books at the end.
Photos courtesy of Google