By SAMANTHA GRISWOLD
managing editor, news
Black History Month as we know it has been celebrated every year during the month of February since 1976, when it expanded from Negro History Week in 1925.
To celebrate Black History Month, Gannon University’s Black Student Union (BSU) will hold the first Black History Month celebration at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.
At the event, there will be performers singing, dancing and reciting poetry.
Erika Thomas, a junior criminal justice major and president of the BSU, said that she hopes that celebrating black culture fosters support from campus administrators, staff and students.
“Often people set apart black history as if it is just something that applies to just black people, but it doesn’t,” Thomas said. “Black history is everyone’s history. Black history is American history and we plan to show that through our performance and celebrate it as well.”
Lydia Bundy, a junior health management major and vice president of the BSU, said that she thinks Black History Month is important because it highlights the historical contributions of black people in America.
“It provides a month-long opportunity for people to learn and appreciate them,” she said. “[The Gannon celebration] means an opportunity to educate the student body on these contributions and enlightening our peers on events and figures that our high schools neglected to cover.”
Bundy also said that she hopes the attendees take away an appreciation of black culture and a better understanding of what it means to be black in America.
“It’s going to be good,” she said.
Breeze Bowen, a freshman environmental engineering major and member of the BSU, said that she hopes the attendees understand that there is a difference between culture and black culture.
“I hope they gain an understanding as to why we feel this month is important to us and that Black History Month needs to be made more of an importance,” Bowen said. “It’s not just another month to us. These 28 days mean a lot and the fact that people don’t even know about it is honestly unacceptable.
“I hope they become more educated about the importance of black history after this performance and they take home the knowledge.”