Students reflect on black history

Haley Russell
Assistant News Editor

Murray State celebrated Black History Month this February with more than 10 events and 20 sponsors.

The month’s theme was titled “Living the Dream: Breaking Barriers & Building Bridges” and included events such as African Week, theater productions, movie showings and discussions.

Several Murray State students took part in these efforts.

Constance Ashby, president of Black Student Council and senior from Louisville, Ky., was one of them.

Ashby and the Black Student Council coordinated events such as the showing and discussion of The Black Power Mix Tape on Feb. 8.

Reflection, Ashby said, is the most important part of Black History Month to her.

“I think the importance is it gives us a chance to reflect and see how far we’ve come in the present and see where we can end up in the future,” she said.

Ashby said, as a whole, the month’s events were a success.

Kory Savage, junior from Clinton, Ky., said knowledge of the past is the reason the University should celebrate Black History Month.

“I think Black History Month is good because it lets people reflect on their ancestors and where they’ve been and where they’ve gone and it’s important to celebrate it not only because it lets people see ourselves and where we’ve been and where we are now, but it also encourages other nationalities to feel the same about their culture,” he said.

For Tai Collins, freshman from Memphis, Tenn., the month was a way by which people could become more educated, she said.

“I would say the importance of it is for people to get a better understanding of what went on during that time and it gives people the opportunity that want to learn and teaches the people that know nothing about it,” she said.

She said she believes the month helps people learn about what really happened during the Civil Rights movement and how it affected long-term history.

“(The knowledge) helps people by not being one sided about the month. It kind of gives people a wide variety of how everybody thought about it,” she said. “You can hear different perspectives and hear different people talk about it and participate in different events.”

Racquell Cunningham, sophomore from Memphis, Tenn., said, for her the month is about remembering African-American heritage.

Cunningham had a role in Playhouse in the Park production “Crowns,” a production about African-American women.

“I think being a part of events means acknowledging what my ancestors have done for me and giving thanks to that,” she said.

Black History Month, she said, is not just about African Americans.

“I want people to get out of Black History Month that it’s not just about African Americans and what they’ve been through but also that anybody, even Asians and Hispanics that were slaves,” she said. “Hopefully they get the acknowledgement that it happened, not just play around with it, that it happened and that you should respect that and that it needs to stop – prejudice and racism need to stop.”