By Katie Sparling
Amarillo College is recognizing Black History Month throughout February.
“Student Life is organizing a couple of events throughout the month for Black History,” Miranda McHugh, the administrative assistant for Student Life, said. “We have a trivia game and a spoken word poet that is coming later in February.” The spoken word poet, Ed Mabrey, is coming Feb. 24.
McHugh said the Student Life staff is creating and hanging posters around campus, “each highlighting one specific person, for example, Barack Obama, and having key points on what he has done for African American people.” The goal behind these events is ‘inclusion,’ McHugh said.
The Black Student Union is celebrating Black History Month along with Student Life, hosting events of their own.
“The Black Student Union is going to be providing bios of all of the African American employees so that people can get to know them better and where they came from,” Melodie Graves, the associate director of academic advising, said. “There will also be a big Black History Month celebration the whole last week of February for the students and staff.”
Graves added that there is always more work to be done as an anti-racist institution. “Black History Month shouldn’t just be an annual event in February. It should be all year-round because of the contributions that African Americans have made to society,” Graves said. “Celebrating culture and differences leads to education,” Graves said.
Kya Warnsley, a sociology major, said she hopes the college will extend the focus beyond February and do more to eliminate racism. “Black history as a whole is important,” Warnsley said. “There are so many things that would not exist without Black people’s contributions.”