Oh, is it Black History Month? Honestly, I forgot
This past Friday, my close friend, sophomore Lorenda Mable, showed me a display in the library of books celebrating black history and culture. I was shocked to see the display because out of the several billion times that I have walked into the library this month, I had not previously noticed the display at all. Likewise, Mable had only noticed it a few days before she revealed it to me.
At first, I thought that perhaps I had merely been unobservant. However, I then realized that it had something to do with the fact that the display is practically hidden behind the stairs in the front of the library where it is hardly noticeable in the first place! It’s hardly even located where individuals who work in the library day in and day out can spot it. If students who work in the library don’t even notice the display, then it is not serving its purpose of celebrating Black History Month.
However, I am still grateful and extremely appreciative of the library for even having a display regarding Black History Month in the first place, which is more than can be said about the rest of the campus. Throughout this entire month, I can only think of two other campus-wide celebrations of Black History Month: the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Feb. 2 in the chapel and the cafeteria’s celebratory dinner on Feb. 8.
In addition, multicultural club, P.O.W.E.R. watched the movie “Red Tails,” which depicts the actions of the all-black air corps, the Tuskegee Airmen, champions of Black History Month. Three campus-wide celebrations and a sole club outing are not good enough to celebrate an entire month; it is unacceptable. There are some students who actually forgot that February is Black History Month, which I believe is largely due to the lack of proper celebration here on campus.
Black History Month is hardly alone in its under-representation. Other heritage celebrations are being poorly celebrated here on campus as well, Such as the Chinese New Year. There were scarcely any campus-wide celebrations for the Chinese New Year either. Other than the International Club having a dragon dancing performance at the winter club fair, which was very entertaining, I heard of no celebrations of the Chinese New Year at Le Moyne. We cannot depend on this meager support from clubs on largely limited budgets to do these heritage celebrations the justice that they deserve. It is inadequate.
If Black History Month received even half of the attention that Valentine’s Day received, then students across our campus would never let it slip their mind what this month was celebrating. It is seriously alarming that this holiday, which lasts a mere day, receives nonstop support. There was the Sophisticated Sweetheart dance, free transportation to said dance, the sale of candygrams, a chocopalooza, etc. — all for a day that many of us don’t care for, or end up a little bitter over.
Whether you like to admit it or not, Valentine’s Day received far more financial backing and student recognition than an entire month celebrating the groundbreaking accomplishments of black individuals. Not that Valentine’s Day isn’t important, but last time I checked, Cupid has nothing on Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou or Angela Davis — just saying.
At the end of the day, heritage celebrations need to be given more support, whether it is by having more speakers, festivals, dragon dancing or more events such as the Martin Luther King celebration — instead of only at the beginning of the month, throughout it. Happy Black History Month, everyone!