February was the month dedicated to remembering the history of African- Americans. From enslavement to freedom, the struggle of being an African-American has passed.
For 28 days out of 365, peers and colleagues alike are reminded to pay respect to the Black lives lost, to the leaders that ushered a better society, and the movements that changed the Nation. But lately the idea of Black History Month has fallen. Some wonder if the importance of Black History Month is losing its value.
When asked whether or not Black History Month has become under-appreciated, NCC business major Tanya Goode had this to say.
“So many young blacks are not getting all the information about our history, and to me black history is more important than that one month. Schools give a half way job at teaching our black children the right information; and not just about our roots and slavery,” Goode said. “It just came to light in the last 10 years that blacks built the White House, but was only good enough to be servants, and to put it simply, many young blacks don’t care about Black History Month because they don’t understand the significance.”
Schools do in fact have numerous events that portray their role in celebrating the holiday. But is it enough? Oftentimes events will pass a person by because of improper coverage. Students in grade school work on various projects for class, but when the celebration is over, students pack up the crayons and glitter for another holiday.
Valentine’s Day and Groundhog Day both seem to have greater attraction and attention than the entire month dedicated to black civil rights.
Since the death of several black teens that grasped the attention of global media outlets, young African-American men and women are encouraged to learn more about their history, as well as to appreciate the history and why it unraveled the way it did.
John Saimbert, Adjunct Professor of Political Science, also had thoughts on the matter when asked how he feels about Black History Month.
“We look back at the victories of important pioneers and looking at the struggles that they [went] through,” Saimbert stated. “That’s really the important aspect that gets lost; we focus so much on the accomplishments and not the struggles that our leaders endured to reach it.”
Some believe that Northampton Community College is limiting itself to spreading awareness on the subject.
Pan African Student Caucus Togetherness Faculty Member Maudell McCurry also believes this;
“Not much is being done, and even if we did do anything. To get [students] to come we need food. We would have to feed them after the presentation because they’ll just leave with the food as soon as they come.” She continues, “Young black men and women today don’t care, and they are disinterested. They think, ‘If they can’t see that racism is still around, then it must be gone,’ when it’s not. Black men and women are still not safe.”
Frank Pologruto, Director of Student Life emphasized that it is not up to the Student Life department to host celebrations for particular holidays. It is the clubs on campus who hold such celebrations.
This is an issue that goes beyond the scope of the campus. Officials at NCC can only do so much. But if the African-American fight for equality has fallen on deaf ears, we might end up right back where we started.