Column: Something for everyone at MU Black History Month events

There are so many ways to get yourself involved with Black History Month here at MU.

It’s Black History Month, and thankfully, MU has a lot to offer for students who want to get involved. It is important that all students, regardless of race, take advantage of the events and attend.

All month long, different organizations and leaders on campus are hosting events and discussions to talk about being black and its history. Black history is American history, so if you consider yourself a true American, it should be something that you want to learn more about.

On Feb. 13 at 4 p.m., there is an event at Townsend Hall titled Facing the Truth: The Case for Reparations. It will be a conversation about The Case for Reparations, an article by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The article, featured on The Atlantic website, is an extensive look into the racist and oppressive system many people have lived in for decades in the South. It features real-life stories of people who lived through the Jim Crow era and goes into detail about how one was supposed to sustain during and after. The infographics, photo galleries and links to actual documents give you an idea of what life was like for people in America just some decades ago. I think the conversation will spark new thoughts and interest in breaking down oppression.

Following that event is another black history event in the same week. The Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center is hosting and sponsoring “Am I Still Black If?” which is supposed to be a discussion where students can let out their concerns and frustrations about being black. This is not the first time the GOBCC is putting on the event. For a few years, students have attended this event and dialogued about their problems and concerns with where black culture is today.

Another event happening on campus this month is the Black History Month Poetry Slam. We have a campus full of people with amazing talent, and this month is a great month to see it. The poetry slam will happen over a two-day period, with the first day being the qualifying rounds and the second as the final round where a winner will be selected. Poets will present their poetry pieces in hopes of winning the slam. The competition will be held on in the Leadership Auditorium in the Student Center on Feb. 20 and in the Women’s Center in the lower level of the Student Center on Feb 21, both from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

There are more than just a few events happening this month. Behind The Mask, The Fight for Racial Equality in Missouri, the showing of NAS: Time is Illmatic and even Vagina Monologues are all good events to attend to get a better perspective on what blackness is and how you can be an ally. StuffToDo has a full calendar of this month’s events with short descriptions of each.

Black History Month is about and for black history and people, but it should also be a time to reflect and learn about history and how it’s affecting us now. Everyone should be interested in the events of Black History Month, because being educated and open minded is essential in college and life in general.

Blacks are a minority at MU and in the U.S., but that does not mean they are second-class citizens. We should all take some time to understand each other despite race and class barriers and truly inform ourselves on the different problems we all face. It is 2015 now and most people would say that racism and oppression is a thing of the past. It is not. It is still happening now, so let’s try to really fight it. We have the resources on campus to do so.

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