Each year, our country celebrates Black History Month during the month of February.
We celebrate Black History Month to honor Black Americans who played critical roles during critical times in our nation’s history. From Harriet Tubman, a social activist and abolitionist who was born into slavery in 1822 and went on to rescue approximately 70 slaves using a network known as the Underground Railroad, to Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first African American to play Major League Baseball during the modern era, Black people in our country have faced racism, oppression, and institutional obstruction to fight for the same rights and privileges that White Americans enjoy. Other important figures you may not be as familiar with but are certainly worthy of celebration include Ruby Bridges, Thurgood Marshall, Ida B. Wells, and Shirley Chisholm.
The playing field for Black Americans is far from equal to that of White Americans, but across the country – we are seeing improvements in areas like education, housing, jobs and workforce development, criminal justice reform, and upward mobility. While progress has been made, that work is far from finished.
While we can never undo the wrongs of the past, we do have the power today to continue working to ensure that Black Americans have equal access to the same opportunities and privileges that White Americans have.
Last week, President Joe Biden issued a Proclamation on National Black History Month 2023 and I encourage you to take a few minutes to read his words.
While we honor the legacy and successes of Black Americans throughout our nation’s history, I hope every member of the MCC community can find their own ways to help us create a more equitable and inclusive society.
Ángel Reyna, Ed.D.