Behind every generation lies rich stories that are yet to be told. February is Black History Month—a time when individuals can sit and listen to the stories of the past.
“Black History month is a special time where we as a nation get to reflect on both the Black experience in this country and the countless contributions that have come from the Black community over the years,” says Kelly Hopkins, Public Relations Officer of the Black Student Union.
Messiah’s Black Student Union has many things in store for the student body. According to Hopkins, the BSU was one of the sponsors for the pre-symposium event “Still Singing the Blues” with Marion Donell. Donell grew up in Harrisburg and uses expression to tell her stories about racism and poverty.
Besides the pre-symposium event, “Celebrating Black Diversity” will be held on February 19th as the main event sponsored by the Black Student Union. This celebration will feature student performances throughout the evening.
Hopkins expresses her excitement about the upcoming events: “I’m excited for all of these events because so far this year our events have been both well-tended and well-received so I just hope that we can keep up this trend and keep our momentum going throughout the rest of the semester.”
According to Black Student Union President Naomi Henry, Black History Month is about the recognition of the month’s importance. “We have to think why we need one. Why isn’t our history talked about like the others?” Henry asks.
One of the many questions asked about Black History Month is, “Why is it only a month?” Henry says, “The month was set apart to recognize the contributions of African Americans that are not typically recognized during the course of the year, or not usually talked about either.”
Dr. Robert Reyes, a committee member of MICAH, and a professor of Human Development and Family Science, believes Messiah students should become more aware of racial issues by having follow-up conversations in terms of what this month means for the African American community.
According to Dr. Reyes, “Celebration is a critical piece that contributes to a particular piece in the country’s remembering of the effort that has happened before us.”