Students reflect on Black History Month

Posted on 24 February 2015 by admin

Staff Writer Dominique Campbell talks about the history of Black History Month



Staff Writer


Black History Month was founded by Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) who in 1912 became only the second African American to graduate from Harvard University; Booker T. Washington was the first. It started as Negro History Week in 1926 and was held during the second week of February. By 1976, February became known as Black History Month.

“For me, Black History Month is a reflection of history, not just African American history,” Human Resources major Jacqueline Middleton said. “Three important figures to me have to be Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas. Of course people should learn about Black History Month, especially African Americans. People should seek out the information to be educated about history. Not just black history, but history in general.”

Matthew Norman, also a student working toward his general studies, said awareness of other cultures should be a priority.

“To me, it’s the remembrance of a rich history and of culture of African Americans,” Norman said.

The three notable African Americans he said were important to history were George Washington Carver, who experimented with peanuts. In fact, he made peanut butter. Another notable person he named was Rosa Parks, who was a part of the Civil Rights Movement in its infancy. There is a section of Highway 55 that is named after her. She would not move from her seat when black people were told and expected to sit in the back of the bus. The third person named was Booker T. Washington. Booker T. Washington founded many schools across the south for African Americans.

“It should be an unspoken ideal to take upon oneself to educate themselves on Civil Rights. Not just black or white issues, but history,” Normann said.

STLCC Art Appreciation Professor Dr. Patricia A. Rooney said it puts a spotlight on contributions. “Black History, is like the Harlem Renaissance arts and cultural movement. It continues to put a spotlight on the life-changing contributions for the better. African Americans have contributed positively to American culture as well as the global culture,” Rooney said.

W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglas and St. Louis’ own Josephine Baker are three notable African Americans to Rooney.

“African Americans can teach us universally understood aspects of what it means to be human—love of family, struggles, challenges, effort and tenacity, resilience and achievements,” Rooney said.

Student Asmira Botic said she agrees. “It’s a month to honor African Americans who played a major role in the society, fighting for their lives and rights.”

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