“ Celebrate Black History Month every month”. That’s what sparked my mind after I had attended the Black History Month Opening Reception. Each February, Black History month honors the struggles and victories of millions of American citizens. I, learned this should be honored every month through consistent equal opportunity movement and institutional development.
The Black History Month Reception, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural & International Student Programs, enlightened me and I am positive each of the many attendees had the same experience. Particularly, for an international student like me, it was very interesting to learn about the different perspectives of Black History Month, but most of all about the current debates still present.
Student-leaders from the Hofstra African Students Association and the African Caribbean Society, as well as a performance by the Hofstra Gospel Ensemble, kicked off Black History Month at Hofstra University and there are many more powerful and interesting programs to come throughout the month. Student keynote speaker Christian Mpoy was a great start to Black History Month.
The heart of the reception was the keynote speaker Dr. Jonathan Lightfoot, an assistant professor at Hofstra. His speech was powerful and passionate, conveying to everyone to keep in mind that the present will be the Black History of the future. Even in today’s time there are many aspects that still have to progress in regards to equal rights for everybody. Dr. Lightfoot gave some real time examples so everybody understands that even today, African Americans don’t have equal rights in all aspects of life. As an example he mentioned the tremendous majority of African American football players in the NFL, but at the same time, the tremendous minority of African American coaches in the NFL. As the Super Bowl took place just recently, this was a very relatable example. As the keynote speaker for a place of education such as Hofstra, Dr. Lightfoot expressed his appreciation for Hofstra’s effort and acknowledgement for equal opportunities. At the same time, he expressed a lack of African American professors nationwide, despite a large pool of qualified applicants. For several years Dr. Lightfoot has been working towards a “Praxis of Antiracist School Leadership Preparation”. His speech certainly sparked my interest and encouraged me to attend many other Black History Month programs this year.
The Gospel ensemble performances and the great food served added to the excitement of the audience. It was a large crowd in attendance.
I expected to gain knowledge about Black History, but more than that, I came out with heart and passion. Thus, “Celebrate Black History Month every month”.