Looking Back on Black History Month

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"Make America Dream Again" by Pictoscribe is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Looking into the future - Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most notable and memorable activist of the Civil Rights Movement. The ideas he envisioned more than 50 years ago still impact the community today.

Black History Month takes place throughout the month of February, encompassing everything from Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday to the anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination. At the close of February, we look back on the month and explore the meaning and significance of it to us and the African American community. This article is a combination of reflections and personal stories from our staffers of color for our student body.

Laura Slater, Website Editor –

As Black History Month drew to a close, I had time to reflect on the meaning of the month to me. It is easy to forget where I come from sometimes, and BHM is a reminder that I am ‘standing on the shoulders of giants,’ as my dad likes to say. The phrase is a reference to how far we have come in a few generations – but how far we still have to go. Black History Month is a humbling reminder that I have opportunities and rights that weren’t enjoyed by my relatives, even by my own grandparents – just two generations before me. At the passing of Martin Luther King’s birthday, it made me wonder what he would think of the world today. Would he be proud of what he saw? Disappointed that we haven’t come farther? I would like to think he would be happy to see the opportunities we now have, yet hopeful that the fight for equal rights will continue.

Reese Vickers, Staffer –

As a first-generation immigrant, Black History Month may produce a different meaning for me. My father immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in the ’80s, and it provided him with an entirely new life. One of the only black families in his small town in Connecticut, he had to learn to adjust to the disadvantages he had from just the color of his skin. He powered through adversities and graduated from college, something his parents were unable to do. He carried his life lessons with him and lent them to my sisters and I, helping us live through a world that seemed like it had it out for us sometimes. For me, Black History Month is about staying headstrong, despite any roadblocks that come in your way.

Laila LaFrombois, Staffer –

Black History Month causes me to reflect on my family’s history. My grandfather was a kind man, though society would’ve built him to be harsh, to be cruel, he never gave in to their expectations. Being a young black boy in Mississippi during the ’50s, he struggled to live a life of anything but adversity. He told me many stories about his life, such a fascinating man. My black culture carries a significance, it holds a line of persistence and compassion. Without the love of family, my papa wouldn’t have lived the life he did. So, as the month came to an end, I am reminded that my papa’s sacrifices have blessed me and I’m proud to say I’m the grandbaby of such a magnificent man.