Community celebrates, amplifies Black History Month’s significance

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Black History Month, first introduced as a weeklong celebration in 1926, was created to honor and celebrate the many contributions African Americans have made in U.S. history.

Following the Black Awakening and the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s, which further educated Americans on the many ways black history has influenced the world, Black History Month was offcially made into a month-long celebration in 1976.

Every year since then, all throughout the month of February, celebrations are held to honor the contributions of important African-American figures and educate people about components of black history that are often overlooked.

California Baptist University’s Community Life — with the help of members of the United club and other students on campus — held an event Feb. 21 in Harden Square dedicated to the celebration of Black History Month.

The night was filed with activities for students to participate in and learn more about black history.

Kristin Holderman, director of Campus Activities, said it is Community Life’s goal for students to recognize diverse experiences through the events offered on campus.

“It is important to celebrate all cultures and the diverse makeup of the CBU community. Events like this allow students to engage and experience new things and share parts of their experiences and story with their peers as well,” Holderman said.

Performances, food and drinks were provided for stu- dents who attended, along with information about important aspects of black history.

Entertainment for the celebration was provided by speakers, student singers and step-dancers. Stepping is a cultural dance form in which dancers utilize the body as an instrument with the use of footwork and hand claps.

Kamari Hooks, United club president, said as a black woman this event is important to her because it emphasizes the significance of black history and no other event at CBU is designed for that purpose.

Hooks said the goal of the Black History Month celebration aligns with the goals of United to bring awareness to other cultures.

“I like to see myself represented and acknowledged at this campus,” Hooks said. “It’s about raising awareness and diversifying our knowledge about other ethnic groups.”

Community Life also hosted a Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute and Poetry Slam workshop in January as part of its black history awareness initiatives.

Allison Weaver, freshman representative for ASCBU and English major, said Black History Month serves as a time to amplify and commemorate the influential black Americans who have shaped and paved the way for key moments through-out history.

“I celebrate this month not only because I take pride in my own culture, but because black history dives in deeper than just what we learn in history books; it is a time to celebrate the black entrepreneurs, creators, artists, activists, athletes, educators and doctors,” Weaver said.

The city of Riverside holds a Black History Month parade every year in February. This year, the parade took place Feb. 11 in downtown Riverside.

The route ran from Riverside City College to the Riverside County courthouse downtown, with local officials, schools and businesses coming together to celebrate the community and honor Black History Month.

These celebrations hold a powerful significance by educating the community to know more about black culture and many individuals accomplishments throughout history. These events aim to celebrate, honor and give recognition where it is due.

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