What You Should Know About Black History

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February is here which means the celebration of Black History Month has commenced for students who attend an HBCU (Historically Black College University). Some students, unfortunately, lack common knowledge about Black History. I’m writing this piece to inform them on a few basic facts about African American historical events and milestones.

● Most African-Americans celebrate and participate in Black History Month but some are unaware why and where Black History Month came from. The celebration of ​Black History Month​ began as Negro History Week, which was created in 1926 by ​Carter G. Woodson​, a noted African American historian, scholar, educator, and publisher. It became a month-long celebration in 1976. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of ​Frederick Douglass​ and ​Abraham Lincoln​.

● “ I’m Sick and Tired of being Sick and Tired”- Fannie Lou Hamer. This woman was an individual whose rights got denied for her to vote in 1962. Hamer was demanded to retract her application to vote or either be evicted from her home. She refused to retract her application and received many threats but she did not let that stop her because she actually gained a stronger voice for herself throughout the nation.

● Who is and What is SNCC? SNCC stands for Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. The SNCC was a Civil-Rights group formed to give younger blacks more of a voice in the Civil Rights Movement. The SNCC soon became one of the Movement’s more radical branches. The leaders of the SNCC was James Forman, Bob Moses, and ​Marion Barry​.

● Ruby who? At the age of 6 ​Ruby Nell Bridges-Hall was a Civil Rights activist. As a child she desegregated the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana during the New Orleans School Desegregation Crisis in 1960.

● Hometown History- The ​Mississippi Summer Project was a 1964 voter registration drive sponsored by Civil Rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Aimed at increasing black voter registration in Mississippi, the Freedom Summer workers included black Mississippians and more than 1,000 out-of-state, predominately white volunteers. During the Mississippi Summer Project, there were many beatings done by the Klu Klux Klan and the Mississippi State Police.

Although I did not cover everything there is to know about Black History, I attempted to cover a few basic facts that I put into the article to inform students about Black History as well as to persuade them to further their education by knowing more about their ancestral heritage.

Kyla Washington is a Freshman from Chicago, Illinois majoring in Mass Communications/Broadcasting. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the Spring 2019 semester.

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