Black History Month 2020 began on Saturday, February 1, and ended on Saturday, February 29.
This month is all about learning about Black History and gaining appreciation towards African American culture.
In my opinion, I think that the importance of Black History Month is to understand and learn from America’s past.
This month also highlights significant people who inspired others and who have or /are active in the civil rights movement. Not many people know about this history because most schools do not introduce this history to students in the U.S.
Because I am an elementary education and English major, I have taken a variety of classes that support open discussions on the black feminist movement, diversity in schools, and important African American intellectuals and /activists throughout history.
As a teacher-to-be, I believe that education is one of the most effective steps towards children learning empathy and understanding the differences of others, but this happens through experiences.
Many people may not see the significance of learning about another culture’s history, which is usually because of ignorance or lack of experiences (or both). Even though every individual goes through some sort of oppression in society because of their identity; whether it is based on your race, gender, ethnicity, ability, etc.
I think that this month is not recognized very much at Keene, but I am not sure how much recognition I can expect from college students. There are posters around campus announcing Black History Month Trivia, but without these, many students may not even be aware of this celebratory month.
Along with little publicity on campus, there seemed to be little recognition by KSC clubs and organizations. I talk about African American literature and famous activists in my Women’s and Gender studies classes, and if you take Holocaust and Genocides studies there with definitely be mentions of eye opening information you never even thought about.
Since Keene State is so small, as well as being in New Hampshire, there is little diversity present on campus. I think that many of the students here see importance in Black History Month, yet they do not celebrate the month like I remember we did in my high school.
Overall, learning about black history, along with any other culture’s history, should not be limited to just a month. The campus has classes, lectures, and events throughout the school year that gets students involved and supporting other cultures. Just by listening to someone else talk about their personal experiences, can give you new knowledge which leads to acceptance.
Denise Ronan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org