Black History Month is finally here! We continue to reflect on our history and our most recent ground-breaking strides, despite four years of one of the most racist and repressive Presidents in recent U.S. history.
In 1926 Negro History Week was created by historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, also known as the Father of Black History, and celebrated the second week of February, to bring awareness to the accomplishments and contributions of Black Americans to American history. In February 1969, Black History Month was proposed by Black educators along with the Black United Students of Kent State University, and thus the first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State in 1970.
During this 51st celebration of Black History Month, we celebrate the election of Kamala Harris, the first Black and Asian American woman elected to the office of vice president of the United States. We also recognize young rising stars such as Amanda Gorman, who gave a soul stirring performance at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
We continue to mourn the senseless murders of countless unarmed Black men, women and members of the LGBTQ community, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Riah Milton, Dominque Fells and Tony McDade, to name a few.
We recognize and support global organizations that continue to fight for racial justice, such as Black Lives Matter, which has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, as well as local organizations like People’s Breakfast Oakland, which serves the homeless community, and the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, which works to shift resources away from prisons and punishment and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong on the local, state and national levels.
The Social, Economic, Racial Justice Committee strives to educate and collaborate with the membership to direct those in need to resources available in OPEIU and the community! We do this because we know that Black History is created every single day, and not just one month out of the year.