February is Black History Month. This annual month-long observance is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of African Americans. Here at SAU, Australia Smith, the Lead Intercultural Advisor for the Office of Intercultural Relations, shares what Black History Month means to her and the ways we can celebrate it on campus.
“When thinking about Black History Month, I think about how this is my time to shine,” said Smith. “For 28 days, I can unapologetically be me.”
To Smith, Black History Month is a time of celebration and education.
“I love my culture, Black culture, and being a Black woman,” said Smith. “I look at February as the time where I can embrace it to its fullest and everyone can see it, learn about it, and appreciate it.”
Black History Month is a time to celebrate Black accomplishments, but the celebration, appreciation, and education should go beyond the month of February. Smith said her Social Studies Education major causes her to view February as a time to celebrate Black achievements “with an emphasis.” She tries to make sure everyone feels welcome and represented during the month that is dedicated to their history and accomplishments. This mindset shaped how Smith coordinated events on campus for Black History Month.
“I wanted the Black students to feel represented and welcome to be open, and the rest of our friends on campus to be involved and learn,” said Smith.
There are several events on campus honoring and celebrating Black History Month. Smith coordinated two creation events in which students can participate in decorating the resident halls. On Wednesday, February 10th, they made wall decorations. The decorations were different for each residential building.
Smith ensured the event was in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
“It is a project that allowed separate but group collaboration to create one image to mean solidarity and unity for the building,” said Smith.
Another event was on Friday, February 12th, at 6:30 pm in each residence hall. Students painted a canvas that was hung up in the residential areas to help decorate for Black History Month.
There will also be several movie nights. Watch the movies 42 on February 17th, Black Panther on February 19th, and Just Mercy on February 26th. Each movie starts at 5:30 pm.
“These movies are all showing in the RCF and will involve active discussion afterwards,” said Smith. “We hope to see you there.”
Join us this month in observing Black History Month. It is an opportunity to educate ourselves, celebrate Black history and culture, and love our neighbors.
By: Merry Castle