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Black History Month: Suffolk leaves students wanting more

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February has been a month dedicated to the struggles faced by the Black community, which was first recognized in 1976 and to celebrate those who have been marginalized. It also recognizes important people of color through history.

As a Latina woman, I can empathize why this month is necessary. The hope is for more white people to become allies not only with the Black community, but with anyone of color. There should be more white people who recognize past history and use numerous past events to actively learn how they can help to prevent history from repeating itself.

It is essential to celebrate Black History Month (BHM) collectively between all races and nationalities in order to become a step closer toward a sense of basic equality.

Although this month was relevant and meaningful, Suffolk’s limited promotion of celebratory events regarding BHM is a bit alarming, especially when claiming to be a diverse university. When the university put out their weekly emails regarding events, there were barely any that were highly advertised.

There were no flyers except to call attention to the Black and White Affair, a dance held at the Boston Hyatt Regency, as well as an invitation “to taste soul food” at weekly meetings, both hosted by the Black Student Union. Besides that, no other events were overtly publicized.

The representation of people of color is extremely important; however, Suffolk failed to show its support and to honor its “diverse” community.

On a national level, black figures in pop culture and film have displayed solidarity in celebrating their heritage. Beyoncé is a well-known figure who happens to be of color and recently announced that she is having twins. Her album “Lemonade,” released last year was a stylistic example of her culture and many others.

Moreover, a hip hop group called, “A Tribe Called Quest” gave a politically charged performance at the Grammys as they chanted “We the People,” and invited individuals to come together despite their respective backgrounds. The films “Hidden Figures,” and “Fences,” became nominated for an Oscar and Viola Davis received an Oscar for best supporting actress in “Fences.” Even more representation of the Black community was seen when the film “Moonlight,” with an all-black cast, took home an Oscar for Best Picture.

If representation is repeatedly seen on multiple platforms of media, Suffolk should be able to focus on representing its students of color. Suffolk could advocate for different events occurring on campus through its social media accounts, flyers and emails instead of each individual club attempting to get their message across and reach a smaller audience. There needs to be a more organized and succinct way to reach the Suffolk community to celebrate diversity.

BHM is a critical aspect in celebrating people who have struggled in society for hundreds of years. As human beings, basic equality and well being of every individual should be practiced. Suffolk needs to recognize people of color not only in February, but also consistently through the year. It’s time to praise diversity and our peers of color.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Black History Month: Suffolk leaves students wanting more”

  1. Maggie Randall on March 6th, 2017 2:57 pm

    Elvira, thank you for writing this piece. I agree with your hope for white people, and Suffolk students, to act as allies during Black History Month.

    Although, I think you should have mentioned everything that the Black Student Union has done during February, besides the Black and White Affair. For example, they were able to bring Shaun King to campus, a leader in Black Lives Matter, who spoke to a packed audience on race in America.

    Again, I’m saddened that you left out the work BSU does.

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Black History Month: Suffolk leaves students wanting more