by Caitlin Locascio, Reporter
Lone Star College-Atascocita Center is holding a collection of events for Black History Month and just one of these events is the Black History Month Read-In, hosted on February 14th in the library.
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements and a time to honor the people who participated in those achievements surrounding black history. Since 1976, each United States president has designated February as Black History Month, regardless of political party affiliation.
To commemorate and celebrate contributions in the African American community, Carter G. Woodson founded Black History Week, which would eventually become Black History Month. The first official celebration was on Feb. 12, 1926, and the date was chosen to coincide with both abolitionist Frederick Douglass, and former United States president Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Even before becoming it’s official introduction, the African American community has been celebrating the president’s birthday each year, beginning in the 1890s. The tradition of celebrating Black History in February is built upon these early celebrations. In February of 1969, students at Kent State University proposed the change from Black History Week to Black History Month, and the inaugural celebration was held one year later in February 1970.
The theme for Black History Month 2018 is “African Americans In Times of War” and is meant to commemorate the centennial anniversary of the end of World War I. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History wishes to use this as an opportunity to show the effects of war on African American soldiers and African American culture as a whole, which includes poems and stories. Coincidentally, the Black History Month Read-In ties in perfectly with this years theme.
The Black History Month Read-In was an especially intimate gathering. According to Lone Star College student Ashley Green, “extra credit was offered” and was a primary motivator for many of the students there to attend. There were poems and songs passed around for students to look at, read through, and read aloud if they wished.
Sara Metz, the LSC-Atascocita Center librarian, and the woman in charge of putting together the read-in, was very passionate about the event, but admitted that they were “hopeful for more participation”. She stated that she felt that the event was important because it “gives students the opportunity to analyze different viewpoints.” Metz did an additional reading of “Peach Picking” by Kwame Dawes. She noted that she picked this poem because the “imagery spoke to her.” Metz also commented that Black History Month and the Read-In inspired students to “celebrate diverse cultures.”
The LSC-Atascocita Center is holding many more events for Black History Month. Some of these events include Black History Month Movie Night, a performance of Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks, and a Black Lives Matter panel.
For more information: Black History Month