February marks the time of the year where African Americans and their contributions to society are both remembered and celebrated. Sonoma State University will be hosting many social and educational events as well as performing arts presentations this month that are dedicated to Black History and its importance in society.
Black History Month was first celebrated in 1926. The month of February was chosen in accordance to the birth month of both abolitionist Frederick Douglass and President Abraham Lincoln.
Sonoma State’s Black Scholars United will be hosting many events this month, some of which include dance workshops, film series and lectures.
On Feb. 25, Reverend Jarrett Maupin from Arizona State University will be lecturing on campus. Maupin is a civil rights activist and has been involved in recent allegations of racism in the Greek system at Arizona State.
The night before Martin Luther King Junior Day last month, 16 members of the Arizona State University chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity hosted a party at which members wore offensive and stereotypical clothing.
Initially, Maupin advocated for the immediate expulsion of all members involved in the party, but recently rescinded this statement, saying he “began to think less about what was good for civil rights and more about what was good for them,” and is calling for the implementation of long-term racial sensitivity training.
On Feb. 26, the film “Fruitvale Station” will be shown in Ives 101 at 7 p.m. This film depicts an African American man, Oscar Grant, from Oakland and his death at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit Station (BART) on New Years Eve in 2009.
According to a study conducted by the California State University system, in the fall of 2011 roughly two percent of Sonoma State students reported as African- American and 65 percent of students reported as Caucasian.
In recent United States history, the education gap between African Americans and Caucasian Americans has increased. There has been speculation of the reasoning behind this growing gap.
In a recent study from Baylor University, it was found that lack of opportunity and the American Education System may be to blame for the persisting gap. Attending a university with a lack of ethnic diversity, it is important to be aware of the importance diversity holds in the United States as well as the issues that are still relevant in our society today.
On Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., the Black Business Forum will be held in the Student Center’s Ballroom D.
This forum will host many African American business owners and community leaders with whom students can gain educational insight from and network with for future business opportunities and career advice.
Another series of events that will be held in accordance with Black History Month are Hip Hop Dance workshops held in the Niagara Studio in the campus Recreation Center on both Feb. 11 and Feb. 19.
Both of these hip-hop classes will be taught by professional and student dance instructors.
Black History Month is a time that many Americans remember and reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to the past and present world.
If students would like to learn more abut Black History Month or review the upcoming on-campus events hosted by the Black Scholars United occurring soon, please visit the Sonoma State News Center online.