A Celebration of Black History Month at SMC

Black History Month is a chance to observe the trajectory of the Civil Rights movement, and the history of African Americans in general. It is a time for reflection, celebration, observation and honor of African Americans and their ancestors. It is also a forum for critical assessment owswf today's manifestations of these hard-won freedoms.

It is important to remember that not long ago, in the last century, the significance and application of black history was almost entirely and unequivocally ignored. It was within this climate of refusal of recognition that an African American historian, Carter Goodwin Woodson, emerged as a proponent of studies concentrating on the historical background and plight of African Americans.

Woodson introduced the annual "Negro History Week" as part of a three-tiered response to the lack of representation of African Americans present in American history; this coincided with his inception of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) and the Journal of Negro History.

Woodman's primary purpose for establishing Negro History Week, according to the Darlene Clark Hine in the Journal Storage Archive, was to "shape the character and morality of Blacks, and at the same time serve as a means to establish a rightful Black presence both in historical and contemporary landscapes." In 1976 the duration of homage and the name of the event was changed to Black History Month.

Traditionally Black History Month is recognized in February, but in order to give proper recognition of its relevance and support at SMC, events and profiles have been staggered into the month of March, giving allowance in lieu of our mid-February semester start date.

SMC recognizes this event by looking at our own rich resources of African American talent and academic contribution. Among those that are mentioned are examples of some of the professors, counselors, coaches and administrators who have taken special interest and action in furthering the successes of our African American student body. We are fortunate to have many candidates to choose from.