Many people ask, "Why is there a Black History Month?"
As many times as I have heard that question, I can still never understand why someone would ask it.
Black History is like a stain to some, that can not seem to be washed out of the fabric of American History. So many have become accustomed to the whitewashing of the history of this country that we have become numb to the noxious fumes of the bleach surrounding us all.
For instance, when I visited the University of Alabama I toured the President's Mansion. The tour guides said that the home was completed in 1841 by "workers." My mind began to race to put the pieces together.
1841. Alabama. Slaves built this home.
In this moment, I gagged from the odor of the bleach.
And in this moment, I remembered the weavers. Weavers are patient, steadfast and proud. Weavers meticulously thread black history back into the fabric of our consciousnesses. Weavers are people like my Sunday school teacher Ms. Jackson. Ms. Jackson made her students participate in the Black History Month Trivia Bowl every year. Every year she was met with the same adolescent ambivalence. She was patient with our angst, steadfast in quizzing us every week and proud whenever she saw a student answer correctly.
Weavers are all around us. On this campus, members of the Harold A. Franklin Society are weavers. They meticulously weave in their green and black threads into the fabric of the Auburn community. They do this to uphold the legacy of Harold A. Franklin. On Jan. 4, 1964, Harold A. Franklin became the first black student to attend Auburn University. But, so many in the Auburn family are blinded by the fumes of the bleach that they do not even know who Harold A. Franklin is.
While this reality is disheartening and disappointing-- it does not have to be our truth.
Weaving in history does more than delight the eye and soul with color-- weaving adds strength. We are stronger when we acknowledge and celebrate all of our history. I challenge us all to become weavers, to empower the history that is easily washed and ripped away.
We become weavers by educating ourselves and others.
Black Student Union, Black Graduate and Professional Student Association, Harold A. Franklin Society, Ladies Society of Collegiate Success, NAACP, National Pan-Hellenic Council, National Society of Black Engineers, Untamed-- and, so many more are all weavers.
Join us in weaving our Auburn fabric.
Join us in weaving, so that we can gaze upon the beauty that is of past, present and future.
Together, we can weave something so stunning and breath taking that no one will ever feel the need to ask "Why is there a Black History Month?"
Together, we can mend the fabric of our country and consciousness, so that we only ask "Why did we ever hide something so beautiful?"
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