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NMSU celebrates Black History Month on campus

In a month full of love-based celebrations, one of February’s most recognized observances includes the events, stories and celebration of Black History Month. As Black History Month continues until the first day of March, the NMSU Black Programs office is hosting events for everyone to celebrate.

As Black History Month continues, NMSU Black Programs works to unite students of African descent by increasing awareness and appreciation through educational, cultural, social and academic programs on campus. (Image courtesy of NMSU Black Student Association)

In honor of African Americans and their contributions over the centuries, the annual observance has been dedicated to the entire month of February since 1976. This month is a way to bring people together and celebrate Black history. Along with recognizing the achievements of African Americans, the country uses this month to acknowledge the challenges of discrimination, racism and systemic oppression that African Americans have worked to overcome.

This celebration initially began as Negro History Week in 1926, created by the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Carter G. Woodson. Nearly 50 years later, this concept expanded into a longer celebration in honor of the birthday month of two important figures that shaped Black history, Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglass.  

Black History Month is recognized by NMSU’s Black Programs to help students learn and understand the meaning behind the celebration.  

According to the NMSU Black Program’s website, this month is used to pay tribute to African Americans’ contributions in America from all time periods. 

NMSU Black Programs will continue to host events on campus throughout the month of February in honor of Black History Month. (Image courtesy of NMSU Black Programs)

In June 2023, NMSU’s Office of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity selected Cecil Rose as the director of the university’s Black Programs office. This month will be the first time Rose leads the organization in the celebration of Black History Month.  

“Black History Month is important because it serves as a cultural connection for a lot of people,” Rose said. “It can be celebrated throughout the year, and I think in terms of being able to connect people with culture and achievements and also recognizing the contributions down to the fabric of our country is super important.”  

According to the Black Programs website, it is “very important for everyone, no matter what their racial/ethnic, religious background or orientation, to know they are welcome here and this is a safe place for them to study and have fun.” 

NMSU’s Black Programs’ mission is to spread appreciation and information to the community about African Americans and all their achievements in the United States. They are hosting multiple events this month, including the first Black Programs and Black Student Association esports fundraiser and the cohosted Black Programs and LGBT+ Programs craft night, among others.  

As NMSU’s Black Programs hosts plenty of events in honor of Black History Month, February is one of the busiest times of the year for them, Rose said.

Black Programs will continue to stay connected with all NMSU students and welcome everyone to join. NMSU’s Black Programs office is located in the Corbett Center Student Union, Room 234. 

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