The brothers of United Afrikan Amerikan Men Incorporated held a Black History seminar on Feb.12 in Woodson Hall. The speaker for the night was Dr. Brett Sims, a well-known math professor at Grambling.The purpose of the seminar was to provide the student body with more knowledge about past and present African American prominent leaders.
Maurice Firven, president of UAAM, opened the seminar. Next, member Timothy Jefferson provided interesting facts on Malcolm X, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, who was an American Black Muslim minister and a spokesman for the Nation of Islam.
After Jefferson spoke, Travis Mills gave a brief history on Martin Luther King Jr., who was an American clergyman, Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the principal leaders of the American civil rights movements, but is most famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.
Following Mills, member Cortney Culton spoke to the student body about W.E.B. DuBois, well-known African American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. DuBois became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963 at the age of 95.
Next, information about Sojourner Truth, who was an eminent speaker of the 1800s- particularly remembered for her famous “Aint I A Woman?” speech – was provided by Cory Patt.
Following Patt was Ms. UAAM Samrya Spivey who gave a brief history on Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican-born black nationalist who created a ‘Back to Africa’ movement in the United States.
Garvey later on became an inspirational figure for later civil rights activists. The most influential piece of information was provided by Firven was stated that Black History Month was created by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the same man our English building is named after.
In 1926 Dr. Woodson instituted the first weeklong celebration to raise awareness of African Americans’ contributions to history. Before this, little information could be found about African American history. Important achievements were left out of history books, and there was a misconception that African Americans had made little contribution to U.S. society or history.
Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. That same year, Woodson and the Association created Negro History Week, now the National African American History Month fifty years later, the week became a month, and today February is celebrated as Black History Month.
Some might think that Black History Month is celebrated in February because it is the shortest month of the year, but it’s because February celebrates some prominent figures that meant a lot to African Americans, Such as the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both whom dramatically affected the lives of African Americans.