Amarillo College kicks off Black History Month

By Melanie Lemons

Amarillo College’s Black Student Union (BSU) is kicking off Black History Month with planned activities and events all month long. 

“Black Union Association is going to have weekly celebrations during Black History Month.” Melodie Graves, black student union sponsor, said. “ They are going to include literature projects, music projects, art projects, plus students and employee panels. “ 

Graves said that even though Black History Month is technically only one month of the year, Black History is something that should be celebrated all year long.  

“With the BSU we feel as if Black History should be celebrated more than just in the month of February,” she said.  “Last semester we had two panel discussions over “Walking in Our Shoes” and basically it just gave attendees an opportunity to see what it was like as a student of color attending Amarillo College.” Graves said.

Black History Month dates way back to 1986, but African Americans were fighting for their rights long before then.

“I don’t know that everyone thinks this is something that’s important, a lot of times people think that different cultures are not important because they don’t understand. Black history is American History, Hispanic history is American history,” Melodie said. “You know about the civil war but when you find out exactly why it was fought and what the goals of it were, then you see the role that African American history was a part of the civil war as well, ” Melodie said. 

Faculty at Amarillo College believe Black History should be recognized and all their long battles acknowledged. 

“I think black history month is important because it is a useful reminder of where the study of history used to be and how far we still need to go,” Dr. Eric Fauss, associate professor of social science, said. Until recently, history privileged the stories of powerful white men and largely ignored those of minority groups and women.”

Black history focuses on the sacrifice and achievements our ancestors accomplished and continue to accomplish. 

Student Life Coordinator, Jenna Bedell, said Black History Month is important for both employees and students. “The month is meant to honor all contributions throughout history by Black people and to celebrate their stories, their sacrifice, their culture and their achievements,” 

Graves said that one of AC’s goals is to continue to increase its diversity. “The only way to do that is by celebrating every culture and what they bring to the table. Black history is American History, Hispanic history is American history,” she said.

For more information about BSU, meetings are held at 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every other Thursday in Ware Building, Room 207.

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