I was having an interesting conversation today with one of my colleagues. It was about Black History Month. For many, this concept seems ridiculous since there are so many groups. But she agree with me in that no other group except for the Jews can compare their history to that of blacks. We represent a population that was forced to migrate to a foreign land; we were enslaved before eventually being emancipated; we dealt with a century of Jim Crow after slavery. And today, though many black Americans have persevered and championed the American dream, many within the black community still face the economic and social injustices brought about due to Jim Crow. Sure, it seems like a million years ago, but it was not. In an email today, I sent this out:
I have been talking to a few African-American parents and students about doing something to embrace black history on HC campus. I am meeting with black students next Monday in which I am buying them lunch, as well as discussing how we might educate our campus on the plight of blacks. My goal is to empower students. Place the onus and leadership on them.
It appears that many would like to do something. Thus, I am seeking permission to have students decorate part of the history dept hall with information and material to commemorate this month. Please let me know if this is a problem.