Student to student: Black History Month is more than just a month
Black history can mean appreciating an influential figure who lived long ago, or a deeply personal present-day connection.
For Deirdra Lambright, one of the most influential Black people in her life has been Madame C.J. Walker, an African-American entrepreneur who is the first recorded female self-made millionaire in U.S. history.
“Madame C.J. Walker recently became very influential to me personally, as a Black woman in entrepreneurship,” said Lambright, who runs a baked good decorating business called Sweets 4 Dayz. “Reading and watching her story about becoming the first black woman to be a self-made millionaire in 1913 was truly inspiring.”
On the other hand, senior Elias Sobah says that the most influential Black person in his life is his sister Bella Sobah, who died last year. He says that she was able to teach him a plethora of things not only about Black History Month but about being a good person.
“My sister, Bella Sobah, about not only what it means to stand up for what you believe in but how to live your life with true purpose. I can’t even imagine the person I would be in life if it wasn’t for her,” he said.
Alumna Bella Sobah was mourned in a ceremony last summer by the campus community who shared in her brother’s sentiments that she was someone who lived life to the fullest.
Black History Month in February is a time to raise awareness about Black history, Elias Sobah said.
“This month should be more so considered Black History Awareness Month so that education and conversations can be implemented for the remainder of the year,” he said.
I asked different Black students about what they thought about Black History Month and how they celebrate.
Many agree: Black history should not be something that is only recognized one month a year, it should be celebrated every day.
For junior Latoya Wilson, Black History Month symbolizes strength and resilience. She also said that it serves as a reminder.
“It means hope for a more inclusive future making room for a moment to recognize the heroes that came before me,” she said.
For Wilson, she celebrates Black History Month beyond the number of days in February. She celebrates it every day.
“Personally I celebrate the history of Black individuals every day of the year by achieving and taking advantage of opportunities afforded to me,” she said.
Lambright shares that she celebrates Black History Month by spreading awareness about Black History. The pandemic has shifted the way she is able to celebrate but that still isn’t stopping her.
“One thing I try to do every year is just spread information on social media about black history,” she said.
Lambright takes pride in her Blackness and does not forget to honor those who have come before her.
“It is also getting to express my Blackness in whatever way I choose and through whatever career path I want to take but being aware that my ancestors are the reason I even have the ability to do so,” she said.