Black History Month events, poster winners announced

Winners of the Black History Month poster contest receive recognition at the event on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

More than one-hundred years ago, Dr. Carter G. Woodson became the second black man to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. Often regarded as the “Father of Black History,” Woodson developed a career in not only history, but also education and journalism. Today, Marshall University celebrates his teachings with The Dr. Carter G. Woodson Lyceum and at a press conference on Jan. 20, The Lyceum and Marshall officially kicked-off Black History Month.

Professor Burnis Morris, the director of the lyceum and the Woodson Professor of journalism at Marshall said Black History Month is important for everyone to understand their own history.

“African Americans have been left out of so many history books and many people are hearing about this for the first time,” he said. “They don’t know about Woodson; they don’t know about other important events for African Americans. This is a way to reconnect people with the history they wouldn’t learn otherwise.”

Multiple events were introduced for the month of February at the conference, including speeches from Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, the first African American chair of the History Department at Harvard University, and the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

Shaunte Polk, sponsor program administrator for the Office of Intercultural Affairs said these events help students to become aware of the people who helped shape American history.

“Making sure our students are always aware of the magnificent men and women who have done a lot for this country over the many years,” Polk said. “This is something that we never need to lose sight of. Sometimes minorities, in general, their achievements are diminished over time or belittled or never measured up to their Caucasian counterparts.”

Polk is in charge of a different events including The Ebony Ball on Feb. 15. Polk said she hopes people use Black History Month events to celebrate and immerse in their own and different cultures.

“When we do this, especially as an institution and celebrate Black History month it gives a sense of respect and unity and embracing cultural diversity,” she said.

Along with the announcement of events Professor Sandra Reed from the School of Art and Design announced the winner of the annual Black History Month Poster Contest.

Kelly Cattler, a Fine Arts student at Marshall was named the winner of the contest. Cattler said she hopes her poster helps inspire and educate more people.

“I just wanted to enter the contest to help raise awareness for both Black History Month and bringing focus to equality,” Cattler said.

Source: Marshall

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