Let’s Fix Black History Month

It is that time of year that we pay respect and look back as well as look forward on the accomplishments of many African Americans that help shape the society we live in. This time is called Black History Month. It is the time to educate and a time to celebrate, but 28 days just seems to short. That is why the Office for Diversity and Inclusion would like to share with everyone this very interesting and inspiring article called “Let’s Fix Black History Month.” Please join us in discussion!!

Link to article:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/02/05/black_history_month_tips_for_celebrating_it_better.html

Published in: Uncategorized on February 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

International Civil Rights Museum Experience

Published in: Uncategorized on February 16, 2013 at 10:01 pm  Comments (6)  

Race Relations In My Perspective

It seems as though everyone has an opinion about race relations, but less that 20% seem to voice that opinion. I will include myself within that 20%. Race relations are simply the positive/ negative relationship between members of different racial groups. In my eyes race relations today are a mixture of both positive and negative. Positive in the sense that we are more tolerant of each other and each others’ backgrounds. Negative in the sense that races tend to form cliques. For these statements I am simply using my perspective within the campus of UNCP. If you walk into the cafe’ on campus, you will see the negative statement I made in full effect. It seems as though blacks have their section, whites have their section, asians have their section, and so on and so forth. Why is this though? Does that mean that we are simply creating our own segregated community on campus? This is ultimately my opinion, but it seems as though that we are only tolerant of other races when we are forced to. This is where you, as the audience voices you opinions. Lets not just dwell on the negatives but encourage the positive race relations we do see on a daily basis. I am a student assistant within the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs, and I am white. Every day I work within a team of people from different backgrounds and races. Keyword in that statement is team, leaving you to infer that we have a bond, not just tolerating each other during office hours. If you just take a step back out of the negative rumors or stereotypes that are spread daily, you can see that there is ultimate knowledge within race relations. There is so much to learn from one another that us as a society could talk for days. There is so much to gain from making connections with people from different races, such as the ability to interact and understand opinions from different races. In a nut shell, I believe race relations are taking continuous steps to bring us together as a whole. We don’t have to live in a color blind world to get along or understand others. It simply takes an open mind and heart. Once again, this is my opinion, please respond with your own opinion, as this is what race relations are all about.

Published in: Uncategorized on February 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Is Black? – Through the Eyes of A White Male

What is black? What is it to be black? I have never really been asked these questions, but doesn’t mean I have never been curious. I am a product of my environment. I grew up in a neighborhood where whites were minorities, as well as went to a predominately black high school. Growing up, I felt I could relate to black people a lot easier than white people. We shared common interests such as music, clothes, games, and other hobbies. I am not saying that white people couldn’t have those same interests, but most of my friends were black, so I automatically assumed that a lot of my interests were influenced by them. Not just my interests were influenced, but my talk, my walk, my attitude was a mirror reflection of my black friends. My white friends would say I acted like a black person. But honestly what does that mean? Just because we listened to the same music, dressed alike, talked alike, and walked alike does not have anything to do with the color of our skin. I was not influenced by a “black person,” I was influenced by a human being. So  I started to ask those same people that would say, “Kyle, you act like a black person,” all these off the wall questions, but it made them think. Would we be so quick to point out the color of someone’s skin if tv shows and pictures were never in black and white? Why is there such a strong advocacy to point out that there are differences in color? We type black letters on a white background, that works fantastically. Ask a zebra what color he is. Solar panels are black, but the create energy used to power white lights. It so funny to see that our material objects that we use everyday work together in perfect harmony, yet us as individuals seem to be obligated to point out differences. So what is black? To me its another color in the spectrum. I feel pleasure and pain just as anyone else would, black or white or any other race.Diversity in the world is a basic characteristic of human society, and also the key condition for a lively and dynamic world.

 

-Kyle Alcala

Published in: Uncategorized on February 4, 2013 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

What Is Your Story??

Everyone has a life story, what is yours? Being diverse to me means that you can listen to another persons life story without bias, without judgement. We all have our own experiences and accomplishments, why not share them? What is the point of being a diverse society, if we know nothing about other persons. So please, be diverse and tell us about yourself! Here is my story:

Born in Atlanta, Georgia but raised in North Carolina, I was my parent’s first child. Had a vaguely normal life, played sports and went to school. The daily routine never changed. I graduated high school from Douglas Byrd Senior High in 2010 and started packing my bags for college. I only applied to one school, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. My life changed drastically the second I stepped foot on campus. The environment was comforting, and the people here before me were too. I started college with not many friends, not many goals except to graduate, but then it was not even a week into my first semester before I made big plans for myself. First, find a girlfriend. That’s exactly what I did, and I am ecstatic to say that we have been together since August 17th, 2010. Second, find friends. That’s is exactly what I did when I joined Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. This was probably the best decision I could have ever made while being in college. Last but not least, find a job. That’s exactly what I did working for the Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs here at UNCP. This life I live, is not what I anticipated. But how can you plan your life. Go with the flow, see what happens. The main question though is, what does my story have to do with diversity. I am on the most diverse college campus that I know of, work within an office that does nothing but promote diversity, and I am apart of a fraternity of men that are more diverse than any other group on campus.

So take a step back, tell us your  life story, and how diverse you are!!

Published in: Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 4:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

How Black History Month Came To Be

February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that provides the opportunity for all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in the shaping of U.S. history. But how did this celebration come to be, and why does it take place in February?

Dr. Carter G. Woodson, considered a pioneer in the study of African-American history, is given much of the credit for Black History Month, and has been called the “Father of Black History.” The son of former slaves, Woodson spent his childhood working in coalmines and quarries. He received his education during the four-month term that was customary for black schools at the time. At 19, having taught himself English fundamentals and arithmetic, Woodson entered high school, where he completed a four-year curriculum in two years. He went on to receive his Master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, and he eventually earned a Ph.D from Harvard.

Disturbed that history textbooks largely ignored America’s black population, Woodson took on the challenge of writing black Americans into the nation’s history. To do this, Woodson established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He also founded the group’s widely respected publication, the Journal of Negro History. In 1926, he developed Negro History Week. Woodson believed that “the achievements of the Negro properly set forth will crown him as a factor in early human progress and a maker of modern civilization.”

Woodson chose the second week of February for the celebration because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population: Frederick Douglass (February 14), an escaped slave who became one of the foremost black abolitionists and civil rights leaders in the nation, and President Abraham Lincoln (February 12), who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery in America’s confederate states. In 1976, Negro History Week expanded into Black History Month. The month is also sometimes referred to as African-American Heritage Month.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 16, 2013 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dr. I Have A Dream

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday is getting closer minute by minute. A simple man, with huge endeavors and dreams. These dreams have been turned into a reality because of his courage and persistence for civil rights. These dreams came out through a speech,a speech that was heard around the world. As a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I would like to share my own “I Have A Dream” speech.


I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day even the worst enemies will join together and act like brothers and sisters.

I have a dream that one day everyone will come together in peace and harmony.

I have a dream that one day this world will become color blind.

I have a dream that people will forever and always stand up for what they truly believe.

This is my hope and faith.

Published in: Uncategorized on January 11, 2013 at 3:49 am  Comments (1)  

National Hispanic Heritage Month

As a nation we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Some of you might be wondering, what makes September 15th so significant to start this celebration? The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

The theme for this years Hispanic Heritage Month is “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories… One American Spirit.” This is a time for celebration for everyone to show appreciation and respect to the Hispanic culture, while at the same time celebrating that we are all one. We all come from different demographics, we all have our own life story, please share yours with us as we celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!!

Check out more information on Hispanic Heritage Month

Published in: Uncategorized on September 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm  Comments (1)  

Women’s History Month

            March is National Women’s History Month.  It is a time to recognize and honor the accomplishments of women.  It grants people the opportunity to examine how the women in their lives have groomed them to be the people that they are today.  As a young Black woman, Women’s History Month and Black history Month are everyday things.  Every moment of my life is Black History and Women’s History.

            Women are more than just wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, caretakers and homemakers.  Women like Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Rosa Parks, and Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. Maya Angelou, Congresswoman Patsy Mink, Judge Sonya Sotomayor, Dr. Mae Jemison, Johanna (“Anne”) Mansfield Sullivan, Carrie Chapman Catt, and Chien-Shiung Wu prove that women are also advocates, educators, pioneers, supporters, and visionaries.

            So as Black History Month nears its closing days and Women’s History Month begins, I urge you to look at the accomplishments of all people regardless of race or gender.  In honor of Women’s History Month, take the time to honor and recognize the accomplishments of the women in your life.  That woman can be a mother, a sister, a friend, or a coworker.

 

— Ashley M. Williams

Published in: Uncategorized on February 25, 2012 at 4:41 am  Comments (1)  

Michael Fosberg: Incognito

A man named Michael Fosberg visited the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to perform his one-man play Incognito. For anyone who doesn’t know anything about Fosberg, he is a very talented person with a colorful history. His play Incognito is about his life and how he discovers his true self. The basic underlining of his story or play is that he grew up never knowing his biological father and believing that he was a white man. After many years of believing this and his mother divorcing his stepfather, he decided to track down his biological father. Once Michael discovers his father, he also discovers something else about his dad and himself. His father informs him that he is a black man and therefore Michael is black as well. Fosberg’s mixed race confused him because he had so many questions yet put him at ease as well. He travels and meets his father and other members of his new but not really new black family. where he is greeted with such kindness and love. This whole play is performed by Fosberg alone, with only a few props. After he finishes his performance, Michael goes on to challenge his audience about their own preconceptions of who he is and how we define race. His whole performance was greatly entertaining and speaking with him is more than remarkable. His knowledge and outlook on life is very vibrant. The experience of his presence on UNCP’s campus will always be remembered.

If you would like to find out more about Michael Fosberg or his play Icognito, visit this website.

http://www.incognitotheplay.com/documents/what.html

 

-Kyle Alcala

 

Published in: Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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