It is once again time to celebrate Black History Month across campus.
Black History Month is significant not only on campus but across the nation because it is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and others who have done so much to call for equality throughout our nation.
Throughout the month of February, there will be many events across campus that highlight the accomplishments of civil rights leaders and celebrate those of the black students on campus.
This year will be even more significant for everyone taking part in the Black History Month festivities because Friday, Feb. 23 will mark the 50th anniversary of when the Black Student Union was founded.
Earlier in the month, keynote speaker, CNN commentator Bakari Sellers, came on campus to speak about the evolution and future of civil rights. At 3 p.m. on Feb. 11 there will be a Black History Month Recital in Tyler Hall, which will feature the work of black composers and musicians. There will also be a variety show and a dinner to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Student Union.
History professor Frank Byrne said he thinks that black history should be celebrated not for only a month, but all year long.
Byrne has been with Oswego State for 18 years and said it is much more important to study and celebrate black history now because the current demographic on campus is much more diverse than it has ever been.
“I do think that, in our current political climate, it is important that we really focus on matters of race and justice,” Byrne said.
Byrne also mentioned that Oswego State offers courses all year that focus on the history of African American struggles, such as slavery in the U.S., civil rights, and reconstruction after the Civil War. There are also professors on campus that specialize in these specific topics.
Even outside the month of February, there are many opportunities for students to recognize the accomplishments of minority students across campus. Student organizations such as the Black Student Union and ALANA Student Leadership Conference hosts events throughout the year that offer students the opportunity to connect with students of other races.
Taylor Woods | The Oswegonian