This month is exceptional because this month, more than any other month, holds a consistent theme of liberation that binds each of us together in a unique way.
Black History Month is a time for the greater story of Blackness in America to be told: this story and reality is not only of denied freedom and bondage, but of brilliance, intellect, fortitude, and hope. W.E.B. Du Bois called it Black Strivings, the eternal quest for the recognition of Black humanity and emancipation. The latter is to be understood as part of the liberation and struggle against that which enslaves us all: bigotry, hatred, and violence, which form the shadow sides of our human spirit.
Black History Month is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on its significance because the history of Black America is rooted in the dream and vision for universal liberation, which emboldens us and calls out injustice in the name of humanity. It is a dream that demands that our leaders live up to the promise of a pluralistic democracy. For this reason, Black History Month should provide all of us with inspiration to see beyond the veil of illusion and ignorance, to free ourselves from our internal bondage and to, recognize the parts we all play in struggles of (in)equality, and to recommit to making the world a better place.
In doing so, let us reflect on our efforts to be more courageous in upholding the American Promise, that all persons are born equal and should have equal access to opportunity. Let us also remind ourselves that the American Promise of Liberation is one that is sought after in many corners of our conflicted globe. Thanks to the courage of our civil rights freedom fighting ancestors, we have inherited an ideal of what it means to be a genuine free-standing people – to be authentic in who we are – and to cherish that hard-won freedom. We also should commit to action to uphold these ideals as they are central to human rights worldwide.
Black History Month honors brilliant minds—individuals who have contributed much to our society, including arts, humanities, leadership, science, and technology. Let us not forget the significant contributions by people of African descent historically and contemporaneously. Let us embrace the healing power of celebrating Black excellence by reading, exploring, acknowledging, and learning about the multitude of Black contributions over time and space.
As part of this discovery, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion invites you to explore the following virtual events:
February 4 | 4:00-6:00 pm Pacific |7:00-9:00 pm Eastern
Realizing Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream on the 54th Anniversary of the Drum Major Instinct.
Zoom link: https://bit.ly/3gcETrQ
Meeting ID: 382 673 6970
For more information about this event, please email HOD student Karl Hebenstreit at email@example.com.
February 28| 9:00-10:00 am Pacific | 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern
The Intersectionality of Race and Different Abilities
This event is hosted by the University of Central Florida and led by Dr. Tracy MacIntosh, Assoc. Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Emergency Medicine Physician. This event will explore how racism and ableism are parallel systems of oppression. For our work to be genuinely disability-inclusive, we must recognize and learn how these identities are deeply linked.
Register in advance: https://bit.ly/3s31MU9
New York Public Library events: celebrating Black History Month throughout February with events, programs recommended reading, and blog posts along with a wide array of digital resources.
University of Missouri Black Studies events: Register online.
Blogs and Podcasts:
If you have any questions or feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Allison Davis-White Eyes, Ph.D.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion