This February, Texas A&M will honor Black History Month by emphasizing the foundations of Black family life and history.
The theme for Black History Month 2021 is “The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity,” which the Association for the Study of African American Life and History sets. This theme is focused on looking at the Black family as a foundation of Black life and history.
“While the role of the Black family has been described by some as a microcosm of the entire race, its complexity as the ‘foundation’ of African American life and history can be seen in numerous debates over how to represent its meaning and typicality from a historical perspective — as slave or free, as patriarchal or matriarchal/matrifocal, as single-headed or dual-headed household, as extended or nuclear, as fictive kin or blood lineage, as legal or common law, and as Black or interracial, etc.,” a document from the Association for the Study of African American Life and History reads.
President of A&M’s Black Graduate Students’ Association Asha Winfield said Black History Month is a purposeful time to showcase Black life. Winfield said she believes it’s important to highlight Black history and memory in school curriculums from grade school to secondary and higher education.
“I think Black History Month in general was intention[al] from its inception. It is a time where everyone can participate and everyone can be intentional about learning our history together,” Winfield said. “What I appreciate most is hearing from my teacher friends about how Black history is impacting their students of color, especially to those who don’t get that information anywhere else.”
Winfield said although Black History Month is only during February, it is still paramount to celebrate and remember Black lives always, and year-round.
“I want to see it happen all year,” Winfield said. “I know that there are organizations that are adamant about creating space for Black students and students of color.”
A&M will host events on campus and virtually throughout the month that highlight Black lives. In an article on Texas A&M Today, Black Student Alliance Council President Corniyah Bradley encouraged all students to attend.
“BSAC strives to unify the community in its programs and recognize the successes of those in our community,” Bradley said. “Having events virtually increases the accessibility and outreach; Texas A&M students across the globe can tune in and participate in our events.”
According to Winfield, the Black Graduate Students' Association will host multiple events including a Black Aggie Art Show in conjunction with the College of Architecture's Diversity Council to highlight local Black artists in the Bryan-College Station community. Additionally, BSAC will be hosting a Virtual Paint and Sip on Feb. 12 where a local Black Aggie artist will lead participants in painting a piece to celebrate Black life and love.
“I get excited for Black History Month because of what we get to do here,” Winfield said. “We get to plan events that are really Afrocentric. They are calling for those who are part of the African diaspora to really share their stories because storytelling is really big in our culture — to share their experiences, art and lives in this moment. It’s my favorite month of the year.”
Click here for a complete list of Black History Month events on campus and online.