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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies advance conversation, education of Black history

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Students Celebrate Black History Month

This year, many Aggies have been honoring Black History Month by reflecting, not only on Black achievements, but also on the adversities members of the Black community have faced and continue to endure.
February is Black History Month, a federally recognized and widely celebrated heritage month to memorialize and celebrate African American accomplishments in United States history. The honorary month was instituted in 1915 when Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, or ASNLH, to highlight Black American achievements. What started as “Negro History Week” in 1926 to signify the importance of Black history evolved into the establishment of Black History Month in 1976.
Animal science sophomore and Diaspora Education Director for the Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee, or MSC-WBAC, Candace Foster-Johnson said Black History Month has two primary meanings.
“Black History Month is a month of celebration and acknowledgement of all of the
activists, creators, workers, educators … that have worked tirelessly to educate people on Black history,” Foster-Johnson said. “[But] it is also a month of repremations and mourning of the countless Black bodies that have been affected by racism and discrimination in this country and all over the world.”
Finding a Black community on campus was imperative to her growth at A&M, Foster-Johnson said, and she aspires to educate the Aggie community on prevalent race relation matters.
“Being able to work with [MSC-WBAC] and my leadership team to come up with programs for people to attend has been so fulfilling for me this year,” Foster-Johnson said. “When I found out that there were Black organizations at A&M, I was so excited. I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood … so going to A&M really didn’t feel any different for me. After joining WBAC, I finally feel like I have a community outside of my family that really gets me.”
Proper education on the hardships that African Americans have faced for centuries is key in non-Black individuals comprehending the extent of the discrimination their community has endured, Foster-Johnson said.
“The percentage of Black students that go to this school is just three percent. I do not believe that people understand the gravity of the fight for equality.” Foster-Johnson said. “Countless stories have come forth of Aggies … that earned their spot at this institution, being treated unfairly because of the color or their skin, and that is unacceptable. I believe that if more
people are made aware of just how much Black people have had to endure since the
1600s, maybe then the real change would start to begin.”
Throughout the month, Texas A&M has hosted a multitude of interactive and informative events, sponsored by the Black Student Alliance Council, WBAC and The Association of Former Students. These events have continued the conversation of Black History education while emphasizing this year’s theme, “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity.”
Psychology sophomore Macie Milholen is also advancing the conversation of diversity and Black history education as Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion chair of her sorority.
“It is a relatively new position,” Milholen said. “We create lessons on various topics we deem important for the chapter to learn about. For Black History Month, we have a planned celebration and education week.”
Milholen said through her role within her sorority, she aspires to nurture attitudes that advocate for equality and acceptance.
“My hope is that as this position grows and reaches more girls inside my chapter, everyone can increase their knowledge on BEDI topics so our chapter can draw in diverse women and provide them with an environment everyone can truly feel they belong in,” Milholen said.

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