This week, the features section of The Index presents an article about Truman State University events honoring Black History Month. I would like to commend the Association of Black Collegians, the Women’s Resource Center, the Interdisciplinary Studies program, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, and any other group to whom this might apply for their efforts in recognizing Black History Month at Truman. Perhaps I would have been able to schedule my attendance at one or more of these events had I known about them before receiving the article on my desk.
The truth is I was disappointed by the lack of acknowledgment of Black History Month by Truman as a whole. On campus there are three main ways to advertise an event: chalking the sidewalks, putting posters on bulletin boards and submitting your event to Truman Today. Although there were some events going on around campus, they were not represented well by any of these means of advertising.
Of the Truman Today emails I received on Feb. 4, Feb. 11, Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, there was only one direct link to an event celebrating black history: “Visiting Musicians to Celebrate African-American Women.” The email acknowledging this event was sent on the day of the event, Feb. 18.
The visual forms of advertising around campus for Black History Month seemed to be sparse as well. The only acknowledgments I saw while walking around campus this month were a few posters hung on crowded bulletin boards. Those bulletin boards highlight the difficulty in making Black History Month events stand out among the plethora of other events on campus.
In addition to the unfortunate advertising circumstances that campus organizations faced, there have been no public statements (to my knowledge) from our University administrators about Black History Month. Our administrators are often also our University’s most prominent representatives, and I would have appreciated some statement from them to show that we, as a University, proudly acknowledge this important part of our country’s history.
I hope when February comes around again next year, we will do a better job at honoring the lives — the struggles, triumphs and cultures — of black men and women.