Students Should Know Their History

Beginning as Negro History Week in 1926, Black History Week was officially recognized by President Gerald R. Ford 50 years later.

I’d like to take the time to thank Dr. Carter G. Woodson for taking the initiative to have African-American history recognized.

Although February is nationally observed as Black History Month, this should not be the only time black history is studied. We should learn about our history every month.

Not only should we know Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman and their achievements, we should know people such as Garrett Morgan, Marie Brown and Sidney Jacoby. Who do you think received patents for keeping us safe on the road and in our homes?

Ladies we should give thanks to Annie Malone and Madam C.J. Walker, who paved the way for many hair products for African-American women. Despite how our ancestors were portrayed, they have done great things.

Earl Holmes, Andre Dawson and Althea Gibson excelled in the field of sports. Pam Oliver and Mitzi Miller have done well in the field of journalism with Oliver as a sportscaster and Miller as editor-in-chief of Jet Magazine. Motown Maurice is making his mark as a late night talk show host and we know actress Anika Noni Rose from her role in Dreamgirls. T’Keyah Crystal Kemyah, who many of us have seen on That’s So Raven is an actress, writer, producer, dancer and singer. For those in SBI, they can look at John W. Thompson as motivation.

What relevance do these people have to you? They are all alumni of Florida A&M. That means you, as a Rattler, can and will make difference.

As African-Americans and students of FAMU we have a lot to offer to the world. You already have examples of prominent African-Americans who are alumni of our great school. So educate yourself about your history every month.