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Importance of Black History Month

Gael Araiza

Black History Month is a time to reflect and honor Black culture, but it is also a continuing force of understanding that Black history is not just limited to one month. From the rich cultural heritage, to triumphs, and adversities African Americans have faced, Black History Month plays an integral role in the country’s history and the lessons to be taught to current and future generations. 

Black History Month was primarily celebrated on the second week of February as it coincides with Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass birthdays. Both had an integral role in history, with Lincoln influencing the emancipation of slaves and Douglass being a prominent leader in the abolitionist movement.  

In 1926, historian, Carter Woodson, created “Negro History Week” in honor of “commemorating” the past. In 1976, Black History Month was born to celebrate Black excellence. 

UTEP student Sonya Quickley shares how the monthlong celebration deserves more recognition. 

“I don’t think Black History Month should just be one month because black people are here every day and everywhere in our schools, workplaces, our textbooks in art, everywhere,” Quickley said. 

It is no mystery that Black Americans are the blueprint of our nation and the culture we have is built off them as well. Within our music, food, clothing to expressions Black influence is prevalent and it is important to recognize the talent and artistry. Recognizing equality and empowerment educates others on the importance of inclusion of the Black community.  

“I hope that as a community we encourage more events outside of the month we often throughout El Paso and everywhere to really encourage the importance of diversity and inclusion,” Quickley said.   

There are various ways to commemorate Black History Month, and one of the best ways to do so is through art. Quickley describes her appreciation towards the art gallery in Union East that displays outstanding works of art from Black artists.   

“I was really impressed with the beautiful pieces that were shown that Black History Month is an important topic for everyone by celebrating and giving back to the Black community,” Quickley said. “Amplifying our experiences as black people and biracial people black people by discussing our struggles, our history and cultural mindset.”  

It is a month to honor the past, celebrate the present and inspire more people to make the future more inclusive. In pop culture today we can amplify the world of Black artists, musicians, filmmakers by watching their movies, listening to their craft and being their support system as well to other Black people. It is all about educating ourselves on Black history and their culture and uplifting Black voices and stories, creating a meaningful connection that powers through resilience. 

Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Marco Hinojosa
Marco Hinojosa, Audience and Engagement
Marco Hinojosa is the audience and engagement editor for The Prospector. He is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring multimedia journalism with a minor in criminal justice. He plans to broaden his horizons as a journalist and work for a major broadcast company.
Gael Araiza
Gael Araiza, Designer
Gael Araiza is the layout editor at The Prospector. Gael is a sophomore majoring in studio art with a concentration in graphic design and minoring in printmaking. Gael loves working with all things visual and plans to expand their creative capabilities through any and all mediums of design.
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