The Black Student Union and Student Union Productions have collaborated to bring Fort Lewis students, as well as the larger Durango community, events throughout February in honor of Black History Month.
Black History Month, according to Katherine Smith, a FLC Sociology professor who also serves as the faculty coordinator of BSU, is an important way to recognize African American contributions to American history that were previously excluded from history books, or not told truthfully.
“This gives us a time to reflect on who we are as a people, on our contributions to society, and to look forward, bringing this information to our children, informing others who have never had the opportunity to learn the real history, and to impart that wisdom and knowledge on everyone in our country,” Smith said.
Tarecka Payne, FLC Union Program Coordinator and SUP advisor, spoke to some of the goals of BSU on campus.
“Some of their bigger goals are to engage the Durango population, and to really just start the conversation, those conversations that may make you uncomfortable or that we don’t want to acknowledge,” she said.
BSU also serves as a warm and inviting place for African American students to be on campus, Smith said.
Smith encouraged all populations on campus to utilize the Black Student Union as a resource center to help them understand the African American experience.
This year’s theme at BSU is that black history is American history.
“You can’t talk about American history without talking about black history, we have been fundamental in almost every part of building America into what it is today,” Payne said.
According to Payne, the Black History Month kick-off event on Feb. 3 is the biggest event taking place this month, where information regarding the rest of the month’s activities will be shared and promoted.
Staff from Reed Library will also be in attendance to offer on-the-spot checkouts for black literature and black films. The event takes place from 11am-1pm in the Animas Lounge on campus.
Workshops, an open house, a trivia night, and multiple movie showings are amongst some of the other events taking place throughout February. For a complete list of events, see the attached calendar.