Celebrating Black History Month

Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month

Members of the University community reflect on their involvement and celebration of Black History Month.
Members of the University community reflect on their involvement and celebration of Black History Month.
by Ashley A. Williams
UM News

Black History Month is celebrated each February, and can be traced back to 1926 when historian Cater G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the celebration of “Negro History Week.” The second week of February was chosen as a way to commemorate the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, born on Feb. 12 and Feb. 14, respectively.  

In 1970, black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in Ohio proposed celebrating black history for the entire month of February. Six years later, former President Gerald Ford recognized the celebration during the United States Bicentennial.  He called on the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

At the University of Miami, where the first black students enrolled in 1961, Black History Month is celebrated as Black Awareness Month. A host of student organizations commemorate the month in partnership with the Division of Student Affairs Office of Multicultural Student Affairs and the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service and Leadership.  

As February winds down, News@TheU asked several student leaders, faculty, and staff about the importance of Black History Month, and what the national holiday means to them. 

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Featured Links

For more than 52 years, the United Black Students organization has been an active member of the University of Miami community.

The Caribbean Students Association is raising the level of awareness of the cultural diversity of all Caribbean nations.

The African Student Union is dedicated to sharing cultural awareness and knowledge about Africa with the UM community.

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Doctor on a mission

University of Miami physician Dr. Hansel Tookes, who piloted the first ever syringe access program in the state of Florida, reflects on Black History Month

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Setting high expectations

The director of Multicultural Student Affairs strives to get students to be the best they can be.

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Winston Warrior leaves his mark at the U

The view from the Winston P. Warrior United Black Students Suite on the second floor of the Shalala Student Center is serene. Members have the exclusive opportunity to relax, gather, and rest as they overlook Lake Osceola. Many of them consider it to be their “home away from home” thanks to one double alumnus: Winston Warrior.  

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