Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

African Ancestry Month

February marks the celebration of African Ancestry Month, created in remembrance of the history of the African Diaspora in 1976. As a history major, the celebration of the history of a criminally underrepresented population is very important, because it allows issues to be brought to the forefront and discussed that otherwise might get overlooked or ignored in favor of what is viewed as more mainstream versions of history, or to use the common phrase, “Dead white guys.” Given that in the history of the United States alone members of the African Diaspora played crucial roles in shaping this country, it is highly necessary to discuss these events, figures, and issues.

However, there are some very major drawbacks to having one month a year dedicated to the history of the African Diaspora in that it tends to still marginalize and box off that section of history to being taught and discussed to February alone. Much like Women’s Herstory month, this relegation of very important parts of history to certain months apart from the rest of the academic year has the effect of keeping the history of a key population out of the mainstream curriculum and therefore not equal to the rest of history being taught.

Whatever the drawbacks may be of African Ancestry Month, it is undeniable that it plays a significant role in helping to educate people about the rich history of the members of the African Diaspora and allows great figures to be celebrated in a way that they might otherwise not be. The knowledge of one’s past allows for a greater appreciation of the present and understanding of how the world came to be in its present state.

What’s your take?

No comments:

Post a Comment