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Black history celebration has shown greater empowerment during a time of diversity within the country

Black+history+month+is+celebrated+in+February+for+all+to+appreciate+black+excellence.+Despite+social+conflict+throughout+the+nation%2C+this+year%27s+celebration+was+phenomenal.+Photo+courtesy+of+public+domain.
Black history month is celebrated in February for all to appreciate black excellence. Despite social conflict throughout the nation, this year's celebration was phenomenal. Photo courtesy of public domain.

Black history month is celebrated in February for all to appreciate black excellence. Despite social conflict throughout the nation, this year's celebration was phenomenal. Photo courtesy of public domain.

Black history month is celebrated in February for all to appreciate black excellence. Despite social conflict throughout the nation, this year's celebration was phenomenal. Photo courtesy of public domain.

Kaitlyn Valenzuela and Mau Mendoza

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February marks the month for black history celebration and recognizing remarkable individuals. The representation black history month is receiving proves the progress of society in realizing the importance of celebrating diversity. As both the struggles and achievements of the black community are highlighted, people become more educated and appreciative of the contributions made by black individuals throughout history.

This month, representation has been phenomenal by being presented in multiple platforms. Media outputs – such as KTLA News – informed viewers of significant African-American achievers or achievements during their daily dose of news, films about unique black individuals were recognized, and continuous support has been spread throughout social media. These various forms of support for black history month have allowed an increase in awareness unparalleled to years before in which the accomplishments of the Black community were not as greatly appreciated.

For the past few years, police brutality towards the black community has been the most divisive topic of discussion creating immense disharmony all across the country. This year’s increase in consciousness regarding the lives of black people in America comes at no better time as such solace is most necessary after tragic events of violence. As people living in an extremely diverse society, the citizens of America must work towards open mindedness leaving behind animosity due to race or any other superficial characteristic.

Twitter is among one of the most popular social media platforms that people utilize and for black history month this year, Twitter’s black employee resource group, @Blackbirds, built a bot that enabled users to direct message the account in return for information. This interaction worked by the user sending a hashtag such as #BlackHistory, #ForTheCause, or #ForTheCulture through direct message and the account automatically replied with fascinating facts or tips on how to support the black community. The social media’s action to inform the public has received positive feedback and has gotten people to care and think about the cause.

Black history month is also a spectacular opportunity to educate people who misinterpret or are ignorant towards the subject. Chris T. Clay, a member of the University of the Pacific’s Black History month committee, writes in a statement that “Black History month promotes opportunities for open dialogue and personal interactions between many cultures. These conversations and interactions can lead to a better understanding and appreciation for what experiences and daily dilemmas each of us goes through as we all try to make contributions to our families and our larger society.” Such remarkable interactions may lead to heartfelt moments being shared by one another which may result in the growth of society as a whole.

Students of color at Don Lugo have also been happily celebrating and embracing their culture. Junior student Rashonda Taylor believes black history month is “incredibly empowering because it inspires young black children that they are capable of being the next influential person… I feel extremely grateful for those who descended from Africa and brought all these beautiful cultures to embrace African nationality.” Rashonda also encourages her fellow classmates to become more aware of this celebration and hopes to have discussions in class about the topic in the near future.

Richard Hadnot, a junior student, shares “I think black history month is empowering because it shows the black community that we always have each other when race is involved. I celebrate by thinking about and thanking those individuals such as Martin Luther King, Jr. who have helped be where we are now… black history month is a reminder of where I come from and that’s always important.” He strongly mentioned that he would like others to take into consideration of what black individuals went through in the past and what they also go through on a daily basis involving racial stereotypes. The students of color at Don Lugo are very passionate people who are inspired to take action and make a difference to help spread awareness of the black community.

Films have also had their chance to shine the spotlight on the remarkable achievements made by women of color and the struggles that are held within the troubled neighborhoods or families of the black community. A great example of the achievements accomplished by African-Americans is vividly displayed in the film Hidden Figures – released earlier this year. The oscar-winning motion picture shares the untold story of Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson who are highly intelligent African-American women working at NASA and happened to be the brains behind the historical operation of sending John Glenn into space. This film was immensely praised and has taught society to dream big and to not let anyone stop you from doing so.

Moonlight is among the other empowering films that follows the life and struggles of an African-American boy who lives in a rough Miami neighborhood and it has been considered to be a cinematic masterpiece due to its deep compassion it shares with audiences. Its poetic interpretation of life has brought attention to the troubles young African-American people face and includes the struggle of growing up gay in unfortunate situations. With its surprising, yet deserving, Best Picture win at the Oscars, many are celebrating the recognition people of color are finally receiving through their art and successes.

There is no doubt about this year’s celebration of black history month being successful in showing the representation African-Americans deserve. Society has grown and learned about the significance this month holds for such a striving community. A month of celebration that should transform into a life-long celebration. Achievements of all sorts by a diverse group of people is empowering for so many and embracing black excellence is just the biggest step of them all.

 

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"WE HEAR YOU!"
Black history celebration has shown greater empowerment during a time of diversity within the country