Black History Month didn’t start out as a month, but a single week.
In 1926, Dr. Carter Woodson, author of ‘The Mis-education of the Negro,’ launched Negro History Week. A few decades later, the week evolved into a month. Today, it’s celebrated in the United States and Canada during February and in the United Kingdom during October.
The African American Student Affairs office will be celebrating black history through a series of programs and events. Though the theme is ‘From Whence We Came ‘hellip; and Beyond,’ the office doesn’t just want to educate students on history. Michael Griffin, a coordinator in the AASA office, said the goal is greater than that.
‘We want to raise the dialogue about African American history in the context of American history,’ Griffin said. ‘[Black history] is not just for black America, but a vital part of telling the American story.’
Griffin said black history affects American history. He explained that slaves helped build this nation and the civil rights movement sparked other minority groups to fight for their rights.
If there was one event that he could recommend for everyone not to miss, Griffin said students should come listen to guest speaker Dr. Joy DeGruy, who coined the term ‘post-traumatic slave disorder’ and wrote a book on her theory. The program will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Business, Education, Psychology Building Room 200.
If you like conversation, guest speaker Carolyn McKinstry may be of some interest. McKinstry is a survivor of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.
In 1963, a bomb exploded in the basement the church, taking the lives of four girls and injuring 20 people. The FBI determined four men from the KKK planted the bomb. Over the next few decades, three were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The fourth man died before a case could be established.
The 16th Street Baptist Church served not only as a place of worship, but also as a meeting hall during the civil rights movement. The Birmingham, ALA church held several rallies, some led by Dr. Martin Luther King, and considered the headquarters for many desegregation protests.
McKinstry was part of the civil rights movement when she was at the age of many college students. Griffin said that she is proof that you don’t have to wait until you’re an adult to make a difference. The program will be held from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 12 in Otto M. Budig Theater.
The Black History 101 Mobile Museum is for anyone that enjoys history. With over 1,500 artifacts to look at, the Bell Collection tells the story of blacks and their lives in the United States. The Mobile Museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb.19 in the second floor lobby of the Student Union.
Professor Griff of the group Public Enemy will be speaking from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Otto Budig Theater.
‘He’s going to tear apart some myths about hip-hop,’ Griffin said. ‘There’s a clear distinction between hip-hop and rap.’
For anyone that appreciates forums, the AASA hosts the ‘Thoughts of Blackness’ dialogue series, a monthly discussion about the state of black affairs . February’s discussion is entitled ‘How Far Have We Really Come?’ The discussion will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21 in Norse Commons.