BSU & Black History: Education Doesn’t Stop At Black History Month


The Black community works hard every single day to foster the vitality of the people within their own community. During Black History Month, they work even harder to preserve the importance of Black History and education within a historical context that so often leaves the richness of their legacies out. 

Shouldn’t we, as white or non-black people of color, want to ease the energy and emotional labor of our Black friends, family, and community members? To show up, we must do our own research and educate our own white and non-black friends and family members about how important Black History is to American society.


Danzel Major, who is a clinical mental health counseling graduate student, KFHS Radio station manager, and president of Black Student Union at Fort Hays, took the time out of his busy schedule to provide some of his own insight into the importance of Black history. His proactive nature alone can inspire us all to propel our understanding to foster a wholly liberated future.

As informed by Major, February is Black History Month because President Gerald Ford partnered with Carter Woodson, one of the first black historians, to change Black History Week–originally celebrated in April and started by Woodson–to Black History Month in 1976. 

“The goal was to acknowledge Black Americans who have been ignored through time,” Major said. 

The reason for February being the agreed-upon month was because it was Fredrick Douglas and Abraham Lincoln’s shared birth month, who were both instrumental figures in ending slavery. 

Major mentioned that the Civil Rights era, as a whole, is one of his favorite historical moments of Black History. 

“This Era has been instrumental in helping every group that has been discriminated against have legal rights,” he said. 

Particularly for the LGBTQ+ community, our history relies on Black LGBTQ+ Civil Rights activists like Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde, or Bayard Rustin. There are few historical humans that are more uplifting to the world than those who contributed their unique creativity and innovation to a world in which their identities and humanity were suppressed. Find more resources for Black LGBTQ+ history here.

Another instance in which Black Revolutionaries were in every corner of the Civil Rights movement was the Black Panther Party. Fred Hampton, who was a young member and chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party as well as the Rainbow Coalition, pushed for the federal free lunch program that still thrives today.

During the Disability Revolution that occurred during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and ‘70s, the Black Panther Party showed up and provided free hot meals for dinner as well as pre-prepared breakfast and lunch to activists of the Disabled Community of the 504 sit-in that lasted 25 days. 

Corbett O’Toole mentioned in the Netflix documentary, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution a conversation she had with one of the Black Panthers, quoted saying, “We are about making the world a better place for everybody. So if you’re going to go to the trouble to stay here and sleep on this floor, we’re gonna make sure you get fed.”

With Black history in mind, we can open our hearts to a more expansive world of love and hope. When asked about how he would like to see Black History month celebrated in the future, Major responded with hoping for a widespread celebration of culture.

“I want it to be like a celebration of culture similar to how Louisiana celebrates Mardi Gras, where people can express their love for BHM in creative ways,” he said. 

Black joy is a form of revolution in a world that keeps the human experience of its people beneath the surface of American exceptionalism, despite Black legacies of perseverance and liberation being the backbone of freedom and equal opportunity here. 

Major mentions a tip for staying consistent with educating oneself on Black history past the month of February, saying YouTube channels that focus on history to learn about the history that has not been whitewashed are good resources. 

Further Education on Black Issues of History and Present can be found at the links below (Provided by Black Student Union):

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