Black History Month is a time to reflect upon the works and achievements of black people like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Malcolm X – pioneers who fought for equal rights, respect and freedom.
Is it our job as a people to keep those dreams alive? Yes. Are we keeping the dream alive by celebrating a month that was once a week on only one day? Absolutely not.
Pierce puts on an Open Mic nearly every semester. They are fun-filled nights with poetry, stories and music. This semester, in honor of Black History Month, the Open Mic occurred on Thursday. It occurred during the last week of Black History Month, for three hours. Maybe four.
If I hadn’t seen the ad in the bottom left-hand corner of the college Web site, I would have never known. No announcements, no black history fact of the day. Nothing.
Let’s rewind to the beginning of the month; here’s what could and should have happened. Put a Black History spotlight on any icon every Thursday, or a possible production play. Host a panel discussion held by black professors, guest speakers, or celebrities speaking about the various issues and concerns in the black community, such as the Jena Six, the “N” word, or even Don Imus.
The open mic at the end of the month would have been a great closing, if some of those other events happened first.
It’s OK. There’s always next year.
The people who came before us traveled a long and difficult road, but they made sure we had and always will have a shortcut – who are we to throw that away? Not only is it upsetting, but surprising that the celebration of Black History Month was so little.
Why is that? Who’s to blame? Was it a lack of thought? Motivation? Students?
February isn’t just the beginning of a semester. It’s a reflection upon great ancestors who tried and successfully bettered the world we live in. The dream is now a reality.