February is Black History Month, a celebration acknowledging the achievements of the African descendants who have shaped American history.
“As we continue to face a global pandemic, allow the celebration of Black History Month to serve as a reminder of the multiple contributions made by Black Americans and other ethnic communities,” says Mendocino College President Tim Karas. “We commemorate Black History Month by continuing the essential work of self-reflection and strengthening our resolve to stay engaged in equity work in our district and to work harder against racism (overt and structural) and toward social justice.”
The recognition effort of Black History Month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States, beginning with the advocacy of Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland.
In 1926, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a national Negro History week, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures. In 1975, President Ford issued a Message on the Observance of Black History Week urging all Americans to "recognize the important contribution made to our nation's life and culture by black citizens." Since 1976, February has been officially designated as Black History Month.
On February 24, a webinar titled You Don’t Know Who We Be: A Conversation about the Pre-enslavement & Pre-Colonial History of Africans in America will be hosted by BCC Speaker Series with Dr. Edward Bush, President of Cosumnes River College. Register for this webinar.
The Mendocino College librarians have also put together a LibGuide for Black History Month and the Black Lives Matter movement specifically. View the page.
In December, all employee groups (Academic Senate, Classified Senate, Management Team, and executive leadership) at Mendocino College made formal statements to the Board of Trustees acknowledging their commitment to greater equity and anti-racism. This is part of the ongoing work being done by Mendocino College to make a difference in society by infusing equity, anti-racism, empathy, and care into our curriculum, our services and each of our interactions with students. View the statements.