ULM needs to do more for Black history

Swikrit Bhattarai

ULM has a diverse campus of students from all backgrounds. But there seems to be a lack of recognition for Black History Month this year. Black History Month was celebrated in various forms on campus last year. 

For example, the Black History March occurred, and the Black Lives Matter words were displayed on campus for February. 

There does not seem to be the same enthusiasm this semester. The Cultural Diversity Council has organized an event with Representative Katrina Jackson, and the campus formally recognized the month. 

But other than that, there have not been any celebrations. 

Black History Month is supposed to be celebrated for a month, but it seems ULM wants to ignore the month and only hold a few events to not face any outcries from students. But here they are. 

Give our Black students more recognition. Celebrate them and their culture. One event and a graphic are not enough. I want to see a movement on this campus that leads ULM to a more culturally diverse and accepting future. 

According to William James College, Black History Month is vital to celebrate on college campuses because higher education is the starting place of many movements for educational change. If college campuses emphasize Black history, then it will trickle down into K-12 education. 

Black History Month also sheds light on the fight against injustice that Black people have had to gain the right to higher education. According to the NAACP, African American students have only been on ULM’s campus since 1964. The first Black student was Sarah Louise McCoy. 

The university is still fighting this bad history and trying to forget movements like the request to rename Walker Hall, which came to a halt last spring. ULM needs to recognize its bad history and celebrate the people that continue to break the barriers for change today. 

We can hold more events to celebrate Black students and recognize those around us that continue to fight for change. ULM Vice President, Dr. Valerie Fields is the first woman to hold the position. She is an example of the strides that the university since Sarah McCoy. 

While the university has come a long way, I want to see more. Black History Month is a time for celebration and learning. ULM and its students need to step it up and do more. 

There need to be marches and art exhibits. ULM should hold talks and conferences to talk about race and diversity on campus. RSOs should do their part to educate students on the history and culture of African Americans in the United States. 

Black History Month needs to be recognized and celebrated throughout all areas of campus. I expect more from a campus with so many organizations and people dedicated to diversity on campus. This month has been celebrated for a long time, and it is time that ULM jump into 2022 celebrating African Americans.