STAFF EDITORIAL– Lucky for us, through our Denison education we are fortunate enough to be provided with a strong Black Studies department with informative course offerings and extremely intelligent, passionate professors. Through these courses and professional insights, we are exposed to significant cultures and historical events that shaped not only the Black community, but the world. It is crucial to learn about your own roots in order to have a firmer grasp of your identity, but also interesting and essential to explore others.
Being able to communicate and interact with people of different backgrounds and identities allows for a diversified experience vital to self awareness and development. Black history month is a time to reflect and learn. A time to respect and pay tribute.
Although we are glad that there is a month dedicated to the importance of Black History, there comes to question this: why is it only during one month?
The importance of the African American race in America is greatly underrated. In history classes in most grade schools and high schools, we do not delve as much into African American culture, and its influence. Mostly, it is brushed aside as we learned extensively on how Christopher Columbus had sailed the ocean blue in 1492.
For example, the Harlem Renaissance was an important moment for the cultivation of black culture. This movement inspired African American writers, artists, and poets to express their voices and style. The birth of Jazz, the NAACP, and other black empowerment movements sprung from the Harlem Renaissance.
Black history should be celebrated every day. Not for a week, not for a month, but constantly and consistently, just as every culture should.
Another problem that arises is that it seems the student organizations do more for Black History Month than our curriculum. While the BSU hangs posters and posts on Facebook advertising events on campus, any discussion about Black History Month is absent from nearly all classes. If Denison wants to celebrate the liberal arts and the interconnections of all disciplines, we should talk about Black history inside the classroom as well as outside.
Black history is American history. It is part of the foundation of our society and the building of our country. There have been many influential Black writers, politicians and activists that should be studied and recognized all year long. Confining these amazing works to one month separates them as representation of Black culture, rather than a part of American culture.
These works exists outside of Black Studies classes and outside of Black History Month. Although a very important time, the events that occur during February should be celebrated all year long, along with the rest of the diverse American culture.