As another Black History Month has come and gone, we thought weâd share just a little more with you so that you may continue to learn more about Black history Beyond February. We hope that you had a chance to attend at least some of the events listed on the Black History Month calendar we shared at the start of the month (and will look forward to your submissions for next year).
Diversity and Inclusion are values critical to Duke University. We are a community of students, faculty and staff of different demographic backgrounds, including race, ethnicity, income level, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. As educators we understand the importance of preparing our students to become members of a global citizenry whose workforce becomes more interconnected and interdependent with each new generation. In Student Affairs, one of our four strategic goals is to provide education in cultural competency so that students gain a consciousness, information and knowledge about world-views and perspectives different from their own. The opportunity to develop what many refer to as cultural fluency enables students to communicate, interact and engage effectively with people different from themselves.
Trinity College Student of the Year
Nicholas School of the Environment Student of the Year
School of Nursing Student of the Year
Medical School Student of the Year
Law School Student of the Year
Sanford School of Public Policy Student of the Year
Bahari J. Harris
Graduate School Student of the Year
Fuqua Business School Student of the Year
Fuqua Business School Student of the Year
Divinity School Student of the Year
Pratt School of Engineering Student of the Year
Graduate Student Organization of the Year
Black Law Students Association
Dear [I haven’t settled on a name yet sooooo…],
My real hope is that the world changes for you, but if it doesn’t, I hope I can teach you how to cope.
I hope you love yourself
You do not have to look like Beyoncé, get accepted into all of the Ivy Leagues, or be a CEO by the age of 12 to be excellent in your Blackness. You can do all of these things, but you will be exquisite and worthy of love no matter what. In a world that tries to tell you that every facet of who you are does not measure up, I hope you have a radical self-love.
I hope you know you can be and do whatever you want to do
The Black Student Alliance Invitational (BSAI) is a four-day event on campus for prospective students that identify as Black. The weekend is filled with exciting events that enable the prospective students to experience many facets of the college experience. I was lucky enough to attend this event last March. Now that I work at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture, the center that sponsors the event, as well as am a co-chair of one of the planning committees, I cherish my memories of BSAI even more.
My first day at BSAI, I arrived at Duke and got to meet my host, whom I instantly had a connection with. I also met a girl who is now my best friend at Duke. The rest of the day evolved into a night of bowling, and the rest of the weekend turned into a time I’ll never forget.
As part of the Students of the Caribbean Association, we have been gearing up for our best Caribbean Awareness Week yet. This year, we’ll bring back returning treats like a traditional steel pan band and a Monday Motivations collaboration with the Center for Multicultural Affairs. This year will also bring about new traditions including a keynote speaker and will culminate with our annual Caribana festival. It goes without saying that Caribbean Awareness Week is, at least in my opinion, the most wonderful time of the year!
Curls, Color and Politics.
In recent years, more and more Black women are wearing their natural hair unapologetically; and it’s beyond beautiful. After decades of straightening, chemically altering and manipulating our curls to fit a beauty standard that wasn’t ours, we have started to love and appreciate our curls, kinks and coils. Due to the positivity of this movement, many black women have also embraced their looks and learned to love themselves and recognize their beauty. There is more representation of Black women in media, and there are more cosmetic companies that cater to Black women. Due to the magnitude of this movement, Black women’s hair and appearance has become a highly politicized aspect of our lives.
For any Black adult who has ever been to college, more than likely some of the pivotal snapshots of our college careers are linked to the events and programs that were held by members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Whether it be one of their academic enrichment programs, neophyte presentations or infamous step shows and parties, we sometimes frame our college years around these unique African-American organizations. Too often though, we take these organizations and their many contributions for granted, seeing them as a prop to our collegiate experiences. But, what if we took the mundane seriously? What if black constructions of brotherhood and sisterhood were actually works of art? And, what if the traditions emanating from Black Greek letter organizations were also works of art too?
Black History Month 2016 has been one to remember. From Black Hollywood standing together through the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag to voice their discontentment with the lack of Black nominees for the second straight year, to Beyonce’s electric pro-Black performance at the Super Bowl, to Kendrick Lamar’s breathtaking performance at the Grammy’s as he vehemently rapped “The Blacker The Berry,” “Alright,” and an untitled track. However, I would be remised if I did not mention Kanye West’s contribution to the month, and ultimately my collegiate career.
On October 23rd of this year, Duke University once again showed its true colors. A cowardly individual defaced a flyer that hung in White Lecture Hall that advertised an impending lecture by Black Lives Matter activist Patrice Cullors. The words “No Niggers” were written on the flyer for all to see, offering yet another warning to the Black students of Duke that they are not welcome on the University’s campus.