What is Black History Month?
February is a month where black inventors, leaders and traditions are celebrated. Without black history, there would not be much American history. If it wasn’t for Garett Morgan we would not have stoplights, which are obviously very important all over the world.
And then there’s Fredrick McKinley Jones, who had multiple inventions including automatic refrigeration for trucks. This invention is very important for society because it is hard to transport foods and goods without refrigerated trucks.
So what has Castleton done for Black History Month?
“They have not really done anything,” said Tyrone Marigney.
Other students also felt similarly when the topic came up.
“There are no flyers up,” said Mariian Megenow.
A Black History Month search of the Castleton website shows several Race Matters events from last February, but nothing for this year.
From what I gathered, it seems as if there are not any events or any major things going on at Castleton. There is not a large population of black kids here and this might be the reason it is not being celebrated how those students expect it to be.
But the small population does not excuse Castleton from showing that they care.
“They can do something to show that they care like having an event,” said Marigney.
He said he isn’t happy about how things have gone this month, but also said it is not over yet so there’s still time.
If staff is unsure what to do, they can talk to students or other staff to figure it out. But as of now, black students do not believe that Castleton is trying hard enough to celebrate.
“As of yet, I’ve seen nothing. I feel like it’s pushed off,” Megenow said.
Black students feel Castleton needs to take this month and this year as a lesson and they need to plan and do better in the future.
All people on this campus deserve to feel like they are important and their voices are heard.
And Black History Month is not just about people of color, it is about everyone. It is history and the accomplishments black people have made is a major part of all history.
So, what is life like for a black student at Castleton? Many people probably wonder what life is like from different perspectives and views.
Well, it is very similar to the life of any other student who goes here. But the best way to find out is to ask questions and to watch how people do things.
“I feel safe, but not welcome because my presence is not always acknowledged,” Megenow said.
There is a small population of black students at Castleton, so people may feel left out or unseen. It can also cause students of color a lot of pressure being in such a small group.
Megenow also talked about how she has to appeal to people and their standards. Many black students feel they have to prove they belong on this campus.
I am also a black student on campus and I can say I also feel safe. My experiences are not the same as other people because every person’s experience is different. I can agree that I do not always feel welcome because people often have pre-judgments about black students.
Also, I have seen people get uncomfortable around me, but I like that because discomfort is a place for learning.
When people are put in uncomfortable situations, they come out with new ways of thinking or just a different view of something. From what I know, Castleton is very good at being helpful and having students’ best interest in mind.