The staff of the Nubian Message answers a very important question to all of us: not only why Black History Month is necessary, but why it’s especially important on a campus like NC State, a predominately white institution.
Yesenia Jones, Staff Writer:
Attending a PWI can often be exhausting. Students of color are constantly subjected to microaggressions, racially targeted acts of hatred and just plain ignorance. We have to deal with all of these things on top of the stress that already comes with being a college student. Black History Month is the one time of the year when spaces are created where Black Excellence, creativity, love and culture are celebrated and put into the spotlight on a campus that is normally a sea of whiteness.
Casey Johnson, Correspondent:
We need black history month because history in general is often whitewashed and overlooks the contributions and achievements made by people of color, even on a college campus. For example, George Washington Carver did not invent peanut butter, contrary to popular belief. However, he did invent over 300 uses for the peanut.
We will need Black History Month until African/African-American history is a required course for all students.
We will need Black History Month at the very least until we all collectively agree to stop celebrating Christopher “I discovered something that was already discovered” Columbus.
Shawn Fredericks, Staff Writer:
Cause I’m black! More seriously though, Black History Month is about raising awareness about the unsung heroes of history who have contributed a vast amount good to America. Moreover, the contribution of black people around the world has enriched global society as a whole.
Black History Month is also about connecting with your fellow black students in learning about black history. Here at NC State the black community can connect with each other on the basis of celebrating their history with one another.
Black History Month at a PWI means recognizing the impact black people had on the history of the world but also their impact on the future. PWI’s need Black History Month as one way to appreciate the contributions black people have made in higher education.
Kennysha Woods, Staff Writer:
I feel Black History Month is especially important at a PWI because a lot of the academia that students are exposed to during their college years is Eurocentric. Sure, there are specific professors and courses that highlight black people’s contributions to society throughout history, but generally, across many subjects of study, there’s little to no attention given to these people. Just google “famous philosophers in history” for an example. Also, I think celebrating Black History Month at PWIs keeps these institutions from being less “isolated,” in the sense that anything not-white suddenly becomes unimportant just because it’s a PWI.
Anahzsa Jones, Editor-in-Chief:
We need Black History Month for the same reason we need the Blackademics series, which highlights black faculty and staff at NC State. It was created as a response to the question, “where are all the black people?” We wanted to show students that there are many great black minds at NC State, even if they seem hard to find. Black History Month is a reminder to honor these people, their scholarship and their advocacy while they are still living.
Keilah Davis, Managing Editor:
Why is there only one building at NC State named after a black person? As professor, associate dean and, ultimately, vice provost, Augustus Witherspoon was a champion for the concerns of black students. He was instrumental in founding the African American Cultural Center, Peer Mentor Program and the Multicultural Scholars Symposium. What about others who’ve made lasting contributions to NC State? Where is the Craig C. Brookins Center for Africana Studies? Or the Toni Thorpe Gallery?