Simpson celebrates Black History Month

by Abbie Crane

Black History Month is underway at Simpson College. Due to this month’s events, many students are learning about the positive contributions blacks have made to our nation’s history.

Walter Lain, assistant dean for multicultural and international affairs, had many events planned for the month.

There were several movies shown, a mixer held, the Carver Lecture given by Justice Alan Page and even a soul food sampler.

Sophomore Matt Gilbert said he will take advantage of the events being offered.

“I am planning on attending some of the Forum events here at Simpson to celebrate Black History Month,” Gilbert said.

Students can learn about how to research different topics about black history by visiting the new display at Dunn Library because our library offers many venues that one can research the subject.

“The Dunn Library display shows how topics for Black History Month can be located in our various databases,” Cyd Dyer, college librarian and archivist said. “From ARTstor to JSTOR, Campus Research to the Wall Street Journal Online.”

Gilbert said he thinks students should take the time to research famous black Americans that they don’t know.

“True knowledge is gained when you are taught something you don’t already know,” Gilbert said. “To truly celebrate black history I feel there should be new unfamiliar information displayed.”

Lain believes it’s important to celebrate Black History Month because it makes people aware of their differences and allows people to see what blacks have done in our nation’s history.

“It reminds us of contributions made by African-Americans,” Lain said.

Lain said Black History Month was first started to focus on the positive things blacks have done in our nation’s history.

Lain believes it’s important to celebrate all types of history, not just black history.

He said we should celebrate Asian history, women’s history and Hispanic history.

Gilbert also feels it’s important to celebrate Black History Month, but he has issues with it as well.

“The only problem is that there is too much history to be summed up in only one month, and it’s the shortest month of the year at that,” Gilbert said. “I feel black history should be celebrated everyday.”

Lain agrees diversity should be celebrated all year long. He said we should always be trying to increase our knowledge of diversity and the people who need our help in society.

“There are a lot of people suffering,” Lain said. “We get caught up in our day-to-day lives and don’t take the time to pay attention to others.”

Lain said the school is always trying to put on activities, but they realize that many students are already heavily involved.

“We’re trying,” Lain said.

Gilbert does pin some of the blame on the students at Simpson, including himself.

“Simpson tries to do what they can to celebrate black history, but I feel the students, including myself, do not put forth a genuine effort,” Gilbert said. “This is something we all need to work on.”