Carolina Giraldo, Staff Writer
Almost sixty years ago, 7-year-old Linda Brown walked a mile to her bus stop, crossing dangerous railroad tracks on a regular basis in order to attend her segregated elementary school. There was a school closer to her home, but Linda was not allowed to enroll there because of her skin color.
History Month at Mary Baldwin is celebrated a number of different ways. Students and faculty mark their calendars for events like Kwanzaa, dance performances, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service, and a Renaissance Ball. They begin in January and spread throughout March.
“Black History month is a period of time set aside in February to celebrate the role African Americans have played in the development of the United States” says Rev. Andrea Cornett-Scott, director of African American and Multi-Cultural Affairs.
Scott also notes that historian Carter G. Woodson once initiated Negro History Week, which extended to what is now known as Black History Month. She remembers celebrating Negro History Week as a child, until 1976 when the country decided to make February Black History Month.
Although Scott asserts that Mary Baldwin College celebrates Black History Month throughout the year, some students feel that the school doesn’t do enough.
Quintez Kelly, a junior at MBC says, “It doesn’t feel like Black History Month to me,” stating that a lot of the events planned for February were rescheduled for March. Another junior, Kawanda Temple disagrees with Kelly, arguing that Mary Baldwin does a good job of welcoming the community to celebrate.
Both students agree that Black History month is important to their lives because it commemorates those who fought for the rights that they’ve been granted. Temple brings up a historical moment which is personally significant for her: Brown v. Board of education, which put a stop to educational segregation in schools.
As Temple marches to class, she remembers those who marched before her, granting her the opportunity of becoming an educated African-American woman on an equal basis with her peers of other races.