Black History Month—created in 1976 when it was changed from “Negro History Week” to a month long celebration—is of rather large importance for those who identify as black and those who understand embracing other races.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Emporia has a population of over 24,000 people. Of this population, 87.5% identify as white. In an area with such a high population of white people, this makes the celebration of Black History Month all the more important.

Black History Month needs to be pushed to be learned about so as to further our education and acceptance of other cultures and races. The average white college student is not aware of the importance or history of Black History month. This goes to show that even at the college level, Black History Month should be a point of more education than offered currently. We, as the future of the world, need to be educated about the struggles, triumphs and ultimately the celebrations of other races and cultures. Future business people, nurses, doctors and teachers can only benefit from understanding the importance of Black History Month.

Emporia State is offering multiple programs this month hosted by Diversity Student Programs and ESU Greek Life for one event. Some of these events include: Multicultural Ethnic Beauty/Hair Talk on Feb. 17 at 4pm, The Divine 9 Historically Black Greek System on Feb. 26 at 6pm. The first event is more of a group discussion about different ethnic and cultural hairstyles and how to manage and style each. This beauty talk takes place in Preston Hall of the Memorial Union. The second event is for black fraternities and sororities and discussing how to bring one to ESU. This event will take place in Preston Hall as well.

Black History Month should be a bigger event throughout Emporia as a city as well as on campus. Students need to know where this celebration comes from as well as its significance on our society and our world. This celebration and the impact it has should be a bigger deal for students, we can only be bettered by more diversity.

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