The following message was written by students at Colorado State University and calls us to action both during, and beyond, Black History Month:
Black History Month is an appreciative time to intentionally celebrate the contributions to American culture and history by the African-American community. While Black History Month is the time of the year dedicated to promoting our heritage, it is important for individuals to realize that our heritage should be valued year-round and to continue educating and informing oneself beyond the month of February. Black History is American History. In understanding African-American contributions to our society, centering the diversity throughout the diaspora of our community is a great step in challenging ourselves to consistently seek out and search for stories and experiences that expand our understanding of African-American history to include all who play a role in it and not just a highlighted few.
Black History Month serves as a reminder of our past and allows us to pay tribute to our ancestors whose shoulders we stand on today. It gives us an opportunity to collectively assess where we are now and where we want to be. Through the joy and celebration, alongside the education and reflection, we embrace the Akan principle of Sankofa, that we must reclaim our past in order to understand how and why we came to exist today. We then look to transform that reflection into action, looking to propel our heritage into the next era, one in which we continue to carve out space for ourselves and make waves in society.
Let these 28 days serve as more than a moment — let them be the renewal of a movement.