Black History Month ’23 | President’s Message
Black History Month is the annual celebration in February to acknowledge African American history and heritage. Originally created by acclaimed historian Carter G. Woodson, the weeklong event grew to a month-long event. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.
African American history is American history. Former President Barack Obama said it best, “Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history. It is about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America. It is about taking an unvarnished look at the past so we can create a better future. It’s a reminder of where we as a country have been so that we know where we need to go.” This month, we will highlight the many achievements of our faculty, students, and alumni.
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) has designated “Black Resistance” as the 2023 theme for Black History Month. ASALH’s statement on Black resistance says, in part, “Black resistance strategies have served as a model for every other social movement in the country, thus, the legacy and importance of these actions cannot be understated.” The protests that we see happening across the nation are expressions of grief, disillusionment, and exhaustion. At Union, as we celebrate Black History Month, we will apply the strength, courage, and legacy of Black people to find hope for the future through our teaching, learning, scholarship, and activism. For as renowned African American inventor, Lewis Howard Latimer, wrote, Black people have, “…the pride of achievement; the desire to rank among the successful souls on earth, and we have the factors which have brought some of the ablest of human beings into the limelight that revealed them to an admiring world, as leaders and examples.”
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and President’s Cabinet we thank you, Team Union, for your outstanding efforts to continue our legacy as leaders in higher education, graduating students prepared and committed to the advancement of a culturally pluralistic, equitable, and interdependent world. May we continue to Engage, Enlighten, and Empower!
With deep appreciation and in celebration of Black History Month,