opinion   |   letters

LETTER: What’s next for Black History Month?



The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, founded by Carter G. Woodson, first announced Negro History Week in 1926. The week was created to celebrate the success and perseverance of the bl and stand-up comic WKamau Bell for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center kicked off February with soul food and storytelling, but don't fret if you missed it. There is an activity for every day of the month. It appears IU is operating to its utmost potential. 

To the prospective student, IU is the poster child for diversity and inclusion. Pamphlets showcase students of all ethnicities, shapes and sizes. This year, IU brought in host of United Shades of America and stand-up comic W. Kamau Bell for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center kicked off February with soul food and storytelling, but don't fret if you missed it. There is an activity for every day of the month. It appears IU is operating to its utmost potential. 

However, IU easily forgets African-Americans make up only 1,500 of 33,000 undergraduate students, according to University Institutional Research and Reporting statistics

The latent racism still existent at IU exposed itself Feb. 7 when a picture of a pregnancy test, cigarettes, condoms and a rolled dollar bill — all with the filter “Being Black In America Is…” — was posted by an IU student on Snapchat

Of course, the 5 percent of IU's student population,  African-American students, were outraged. Bias incident reports began piling into the system, students visited the vice provost, and an emergency town hall meeting was called at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center to discuss the event. Deans, directors, professors and more than 200 students attended the town hall.

Mandatory inclusion and diversity courses for student and faculty, amendments to the Indiana University Code of Conduct, amendments to Indiana Bicentennial Plans and representation in leadership roles in various organizations were ideas presented to bring reform at IU. 

However, what I think is most important is the gathering of the illustrious 5 percent. This incident was made to embarrass, shame and mock their culture. However, it brought the community closer to brainstorm and effect change from the inside out.

Let this incident remind everyone black people will be tested, but our perseverance and need to achieve will succeed. So, in honor of Black History Month, understand that we belong at IU, and we will continue to display excellence, fighting ignorance with intellect. 

Moniel Sanders 

219-805-3809

1000 N Fee Lane Bloomington, IN

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