Celebrating Black History Month


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Black History Month highlights the shadowed accomplishments and untold past of Black people in the United States.

Niomi Nunez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

It’s February, which means Black History Month is amongst us. In this month, we celebrate the many accomplishments of Black people in nations across the globe, but more specifically in the United States. 

The history behind the celebratory month is extensive, and it starts in the year 1915 in the U.S. According to History.com, Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland “founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History,” otherwise known as ASNLH. The organization worked to highlight the accomplishments of Black and African Americans in a time when these achievements would have been overlooked.  

The ASNLH was the first organization to introduce what was then called “National Negro History Week” in 1926. The organization chose to make the history week “the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass,” two prominent figures in the abolishment of slavery. Soon after its introduction, many schools and communities began celebrating the honorary week.  

In the 1960s, that one week in February had transformed into Black History Month after gaining more recognition on college campuses. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized the month and asked the public to join in honoring the brutal and enduring history of Black people in America. Ever since 1976, February has been officially recognized as Black History Month in dedication of honoring and piecing together a fragmented, untold history.  

In recent years, Black History Month has become more about raising awareness for ongoing social injustice. The month focuses the spotlight on issues of police brutality, racial discrimination in the work force, discrepancies in education and resources, etc. February serves as a reflection period in which people try to resolve the issues that are often overlooked during the other 11 months of the year.  

The majority of college institutions and organizations, including Iona University, are honoring Black History Month in hopes of educating more people on the past, present and future accomplishments and challenges of Black people in America.  

In celebration of the month, Iona University’s student clubs have planned to host several events. On Feb. 4, the Black Student Union hosted their annual Culture Show—an event in which students and invited guests showcased their talents and “Black excellence.”   

The Student Leader Alliance for Multiculturalism has planned three movie nights where students will watch films depicting Black culture and experience in America. The first movie night will take place Feb. 9 in the Unity Lounge in LaPenta Student Union.  

On Fed. 15, Iona University will be a soul food-themed Gael Gate that will serve various traditional dishes created by Black communities in America.   

More information on these and other events can be found on Iona University’s website.  

While Black History Month only lasts a month, the stories and struggles of Black Americans live on past Feb. 28. Let this month be a time in which you reflect not only on the past, but on the current injustices Black Americans face today. Help in piecing together a history that has been shattered with cruel inequality and join in on amending what is to come next.