Rethinking Black History Month

Feb 9, 2018

Black History Month often highlights the greats like Dr. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. One university professor is encouraging people to also use the month to celebrate everyday African Americans.



African American history is filled with a lot of negativity. Black History month, every February, highlights some of its positive outcomes.


Dr. Dawn Hinton is a sociology professor at Saginaw Valley State University.


She will lead a discussion at SVSU called, “Why We Celebrate Black History Month.”


“One of the things that’s exciting to me about this whole idea of revisiting black history, is for us to rethink what Black history means. And I think a lot of times, we think about great people like Rosa Parks and Dr. King," Hinton said. "What I’d like to do with this presentation to encourage us about the true intent of Carter G. Woodson when he created black history month.”


Hinton said she encourages people to reflect on personal life experiences and on people who have made an impact on them.


“I’m encouraging people to reflect on their life experiences, and think about those folks who have made these meaningful contributions to them," she said. "As folks who should be celebrated as examples of black excellence.”


She said she hopes her discussion will lead the SVSU community to think about Black History month in a different way.


Hinton also said she wants people to rethink Black History Month, starting with how its founder -  Carter G. Woodson - created it.


“He actually argued that history is by the people and not simply or primarily by great men. His identification of February was not because it’s the shortest month of the year," she said. "He indeed identified it because it was the birthday of two people he had high esteem for.”


Woodson was influenced by Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas.


Hinton’s discussion is planned for Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Curtiss Hall on the campus of SVSU.