Black History Month is also about lives between the lines

Black History Month is also about lives between the lines

Back in grade school, Black History Month resembled a fast-paced motorcycle drive through an art museum. The plethora of so many amazing African American leaders were cursorily reviewed in a whirlwind.

We all, of course, know about such esteemed leaders as Martin Luther King Jr., But how many of us know about Olaudah Equiano? Beyond even the range of fantastic idols and influential leaders, few of us understand in depth other issues that are immensely important to the African American community.

Looking at the events hosted by Saint Louis University’s Black Student Alliance, we begin to see a deeper mural of issues.

The theme of BSA’s Black History Month program is called “Understanding Us: An Exploration of the African Diaspora.” The topic of the African diaspora  was not likely explored in detail, if at all, in our grade school education.

BSA also hosted well-known political commentator and author Jeff Johnson as a speaker on the topic of the “Unclaimed Legacy: Who Will Lead the Next Social Movement?”

While learning about the timeline of the Civil Rights Movement is important, we miss out on the beautiful variety of these other topics and speakers that play equally crucial roles in developing African American culture and intellectualism.

It is truly a disservice to all efforts to educate students about diversity that topics beyond the major African American figures are not explored in depth and more often.

BSA’s commendable lectures, events and informational gatherings help to fill this piece of the evolution in our understanding of African American issues.

Black History Month is not only a celebration and a vital recognition of the well-known figures of African American history, like Martin Luther King Jr.

It is also an exploration and a process of education about far-reaching issues and critical ideas.

BSA is helping SLU grow more aware of culture and true diversity by exposing students to those aspects of African American culture that get lost between the pages of our grade school textbooks.