WSU provides resources for Black History Month

Sarah Olsen, Contributing Writer

America first recognized Black History Month or African-American History Month in 1976.

Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson started Black History Month. However, when he started it, it was only a weeklong event. He wanted to raise awareness of African American’s contribution to civilization. He founded The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). The event’s popularity sprung high and became a central part of African-American life and history by the end of Woodson’s life.

The Black Awakening of the 1960’s and the Civil Rights Movement focused on Americans of all colors on the subject of the contributions of African Americans to our history and culture. The celebration was then expanded to a month in 1976. President Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor through our history.”

Now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History continues to promote the study of African American history all year.

“I don’t think I would hold it against whites in general…Your ancestors may have, but that was then, and this is now,” freshman Elliot Young said. “America is making great progress even though we still have problems with race under the surface.”

“The racism of yesterday’s America conceived the stereotypes that we have today,” Young said.

To acknowledge African American students, Wright State provides a cultural-felt, home-environment for African American students in the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center in Millet Hall. This center was created 43 years ago on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is an area that strives to help make all students feel at home.

“[The Bolinga Center offers] free printing, tutoring, counseling and support and even multi-media resources,” Director of the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center Dr. Dana Patterson said.

According to Patterson, bolinga means love in Langala, an African language from the Republic of the Congo.

The center’s focus is to serve the Wright State University community through promoting an understanding of the culture and heritage of Black Americans.

The center offers upcoming events and has multiple African American organizations such as Black Student Union, Black Women Striving Forward and Black Men on the Move.

For more information on Black History Month, or the Bolinga Black Cultural Resources Center, go to www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov, or contact Dr. Dana Patterson at dana.patterson@wright.edu.

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