In celebration of Black History Month, CSU’s student organizations are putting on events to remember their heritage.
“This is a month for the African American culture to show pride and joy in their heritage, which should be experienced by every culture,” said Destiny Johnson, president of United Women of Color.
While Black History Month events strive to educate and build community, the month signifies much more, according to Johnson.
“I think it is important to celebrate Black History Month because it is a time to highlight all the achievements and good the African American culture has done,” Johnson said. “As a culture we have been through a lot, but I also think that is important to understand and inform present and future generations of what our culture has overcome.”
According to Ann Little, associate professor of history, African American history is a vital part of the history of the United States and therefore, important to all Americans.
“Enslaved and brought to the Americas in chains, African people were systematically robbed of their labor and their children for nearly 300 years,” Little said in an email to the Collegian. “Nevertheless, African Americans persisted and as Americans, were inspired to fight for their liberty on the basis of that radical Jeffersonian declaration that all men are created equal.”
“African American history embodies both the best and the worst that America can be,” Little said.
Eric Nelson, professor of ethnic studies, said he celebrates Black History Month by recognizing African Americans who have worked tirelessly and sacrificed their lives to bring equality and diversity to the United States.
“Dr. (Martin Luther) King’s spirit lives on. After his assassination, millions of people picked up the torch and continued to fight for a better future, carrying our shared movement for social justice into the present day,” Nelson said.
Kayla Tolbert, president of Black Definition, is aware of the struggle her ancestors endured to create a better future and she acknowledges that their fight led the way for other discriminated groups to speak up and demand equal rights of their own.
“With our policies now as far as not discriminating against people, I feel that it brought other people to want to speak up,” Tolbert said. “Now you have the GLBTQ community fighting for their rights.”
“It’s important to remember that this country was built by people with African American heritage and I think that people forget where we came from and forget to acknowledge it, so I think it’s important to remember that,” Tolbert said.
Senior Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.