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A week to a month, a crucial moment for Black History

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A week to a month, a crucial moment for Black History

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Bradley Kremer, Opinion Writer

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Many people take the existence of Black History Month for granted and have little knowledge of its origins or purpose so let’s explore what this month is all about.

According to the article History of Black History Month written by Daryl M. Scott, a professor of history at Howard University, Black History Month was established by Carter G. Woodson in 1926. Woodson was an alumnus to the University of Chicago anda graduate member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (which is also a fraternity that is established here at CSUSM).

Woodson believed that publishing scientific history would transform race relations by dispelling the wide-spread falsehoods about the achievements of Africans and people of African descent.

When Woodson first sent out his press release in 1926, the celebration was only a week long in February. In the mid-1960s, Fredrick H. Hammaurabi used his cultural center, the House of Knowledge, to fuse African consciousness with the study of the black past, which in turn resulted in the ongoing establishment of Black History Month in the late 1960s. In 1976, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) used its influence to institutionalize the shift from a week to a month, and many American presidents thereafter have issued proclamations endorsing the NAACP’s annual theme.

In an interview with the Associate Director of the Black Student Center (BSC) Anthony Jett said the center’s primary focus is on academics.

He conveys this dedication to studies by having the study hours in the BSC from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, he stays two hours after the center is closed to give students more time to study.

The center does a lot of outreach to local high schools like Carlsbad, San Marcos, Oceanside, and community colleges to help bring in more Black students to CSUSM and let them know they have a home here with us.

Jett welcomes everybody to make friends and learn about black history at the BSC and some of the upcoming events for the month.

Some of these events include a Natural Hair Stroll on Feb. 22 in the USU Amphitheatre from 11a.m. to 1p.m. A Self-Love/Early Detection of Breast Cancer at the McMahan House (free food & beverages) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a Black Wall Street Panel Discussion on Mar. 6 in the USU Ballroom from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. See you there Cougars!

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