Black History Month: how a week became 28 days

By Andrew Henry 

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February is Black History Month, but why?

When 10 students on Delaware County’s Marple Campus were asked, nine of them admitted to having absolutely no idea.

“Isn’t is because February is the shortest month of the year?” asked Angel Goins, a criminal justice major.

The reason February was chosen has nothing to do with the length of the month. It was chosen by a black man named Carter G. Woodson, the second black man to earn a doctorate degree from Harvard University, according to Daryl Michael Scott, a professor of History at Howard University and vice president for Programs of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.

In 1915 Woodson went to Illinois to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of the slaves in the United States. The event commemorated the progress black people in America had made since the abolition of slavery. Approximately 6000 to 12,000 black U.S. citizens attended the three-week event, according to Scott.

Due to the overwhelming turnout, Woodson formed an organization known as the Association For the Study of Negro life (ASNLH), which promoted the study of African people’s history and genealogy, and the sharing of those findings.

Woodson thought that sharing the historical facts about Africans would help to improve race relations by changing the way that Africans were perceived.

In 1926, Woodson established that a week in February would be known as Negro History Week and would be used to promote and teach the history of black people, writes Scott.

The Month of February was chosen because it holds the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, a former slave turned abolitionist, and President Abraham Lincoln, the president who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation to free the slaves.

In 1976, 50 years after the establishment of Negro history week, the ASNLH finally had enough influence to establish Black History Month, and since then every president has acknowledged February as Black History Month, according to Scott.

DCCC’s Marple campus will be holding events all throughout the month February.

Allyson Gleason, director of Campus Life at DCCC expressed the importance of promoting diversity on campus both during Black History Month, and all year long.

“It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate different cultures,” Gleason said. “We try to reach out to everyone, which is why we had the play ‘Tres Vidas’ in October for Hispanic Heritage Month.”

Contact Andrew Henry at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Bleeding green while crying tears of joy

By Shannon Reardon

Super Bowl LII

Being an Eagles fan isn’t a choice, it’s a right of passage that is transferred down through our bloodlines, and the bond that holds the city of Philadelphia together.

Part of the Philadelphia Eagles spirit comes from the preseason hope that “this will be our year,” though it never is.

Except for this year.

This year started the same as all those that preceded it, overly excitable fans filling the lower level of Lincoln Financial Field on two hot August days to watch the full team participate in Training Camp.

After Training Camp, fans had to wait until week three for the Birds to play at home against the New York Giants.

Just like every other home game for the season, the parking lots were filled with the smell of charcoal grilled hot dogs, the echoes of E-A-G-L-E-S chants from various tailgates, and the colors green, black, and white as far as the eye could see by 9 a.m.

I tailgate with a group that is unlike any other. They call themselves “4th and Jawn,” a weekly podcast group that report solely on the Eagles.

We do things the same as everyone else, drinking and talking about football, with the added bonus of beer bong baptisms for newcomers or anyone who is looking to drink in the name of Carson Wentz, Howie Roseman, and Doug Pederson.

As the season progressed this year, the usual feeling of disappointment never reached us.

Sure, we suffered some devastating player losses with Darren Sprouls, Jason Peters, Carson Wentz, and other key players, but the “next man up” mentality carried us through the season.

I’ll be the first person to admit that I did not think that post season was even in the cards for us. I pictured us as having eight wins at best.

But this was our year.

It was a year filled with excitement, then tears, trepidation, and, finally, tears of joy.

Watching the Super Bowl, I was again so sure that the Eagles were bound to lose, but I was there along for the ride.

Man, was I wrong.

Nick Foles stepped up to the plate, the eyes of the country on him, knowing he was our second string quarterback, and he gave The Patriots the Philly Special: he sent Tom Brady home ringless.

Things in our house erupted, my stepdad couldn’t control his excitment as he kept yelling, “What?”

I sat just staring in disbelief.

Did we really just win the Super Bowl?

It took 52 Super Bowls for The Eagles to win a Championship. They finally brought the Lombardi Trophy home to Philly, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

I’ve never been more proud of a group of men, and for our city, who desperately needed a win to show the true tenacious spirit of Philadelphians.

Contact Shannon Reardon at communitarian@mail.dccc. edu

Nothing to fear but… myself?

By Andrew Henry

I am a black man. Yet sometimes I notice myself walking more towards the edge of the sidewalk when another black man walks by.

Why am I afraid of members of my own race?

In addition to the media’s demonizing portrayal of black men, I experienced something when I was younger that made a lasting impact.

I grew up in Chester, Pa, a city known for its vicious murder rate. According to the news most people doing the killings were black. I was terrified of the city I lived in.

In the third grade my mother had an old “friend” move in with us. That year I got into trouble at school. The teacher said that I hit her. My word didn’t really matter at that point.

To teach me a lesson about being “big and bad” my mother’s friend took me on a ride deeper into Chester.

We pulled up to a house where two young black boys were tossing a football back and forth. My mother’s friend told me to get out of the car and go hang out with them. See how tough I was against a couple of Chester kids.

Without knowing anything about their family lives, their names, or any anything else, I thought they were “tough” because they were black and from Chester.

I cried, and screamed, and begged for him to take me home. That may have been the very moment that plunged me into the deep-rooted fear of my own people that still resonates within me, even today.

Fortunately, in high school, I was invited to join a group called the Black Students Union.

Suddenly, I was fully immersed into my own culture that for so long seemed distant from me.

I became president by my senior year. I gained a level of confidence speaking to and interacting with people of color. BSU saved me from myself.

Albert Einstein wrote: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Black people are not thugs or monsters, but if America continues to label us as such, how can we think that we can be anything but?

Contact Andrew Henry at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Students weigh in on Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda

By John Kearney

Students and faculty at DCCC’s Marple Campus recently responded to President Donald Trump’s alleged statement identifying African nations and Haiti as “sh-thole countries.”

President Trump met with Senators Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) and Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) to discuss a bipartisan immigration proposal made in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus on Jan. 11. The proposal aimed to give preference of 50 percent of lottery visas awarded to people from Africa and Temporary Protected Status nations, such as Haiti and El Salvador.

Trump questioned the proposal, saying, “Why do we want more people from sh-thole countries,” according to several lawmakers at the meeting. The Washington Post was the first source to report on the comment.

Tanya Gardner, a communications professor and coordinator of the Intercultural Friendship Program at the college, is worried about the possible negative effects the statement could have on the sustainability and health of the college environment.

“One of the many strengths of our College community is our diversity,” Gardner said. “These comments undermine our College’s international student recruitment efforts.”

Dr. Ife Williams, a DCCC political science professor, said she was not surprised by the president’s statement. “The sad part is that he says this in the middle of the immigration debate,” Williams said. “It is truly sad that the president has this view. He wants to send Haitians back, and Mexicans back, and El Salvadorans back. He favors certain classes and ethnic groups.”

Some DCCC students offered their reactions to Trump’s immigration statements and policies. Mohammed Ziyan Aslam, a 19-year-old immigrant from India, born in Saudi Arabia, said he packs lightly when travelling home.

“I would not bring a computer to and from a place when I travel,” Aslam said. “I will get held in customs for four or five hours.”

Other students said they have taken his comments personally, despite not being from the countries he regarded as “sh-tholes.”

Vitoria Mota, a 22-year-old foreign-exchange student from Brazil, said she felt welcomed by the people of the United States, but not the president.

“He is the major image of the country,” Mota said. “He should not treat people from other countries like this.”

Trump has taken a nationalistic approach to immigration. In his State of the Union address on Jan. 30, he outlined his “Four Pillar Plan” for immigration.

The first pillar is “a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants brought here by their parents,” said Trump in regards to immigrants benefiting from The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), otherwise known as “dreamers.”

The second pillar aims to “fully secure the border” between Central America and the United States by creating the border wall he promised while campaigning for the presidency.

The third pillar aims to end the Visa Lottery, which grants 50,000 immigrants citizenship out of approximately 20,000,000 applicants from across the globe annually.

The fourth pillar seeks to put an end to what Republicans call “chain migration,” the opportunity for immigrants to obtain citizenship through sponsorship by a family member who is currently a citizen.

Congress plans to revisit an immigration bill after approving the budget.

Meanwhile, some faculty and students hope the United States continues to welcome immigrants from around the world.

“The different worldviews and experiences our students, staff, and faculty contribute to our College community should be celebrated instead of threatened.”

Contact John Kearney at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu

Shithole MotS pic 4, Donald Abraham Ballah
“He should foster the unification of countries. If he, of all people, will call another part of the world “sh-thole countries,” it is astoundingly disgusting to me.” Donald Abraham Ballah, 36 Health Science, Yeadon
Shithole MotS pic 3, Vitoria Mota
“I know he is totally right about people being illegal in the country, but he should not treat people from other countries that way.” Vitoria Mota, 22 Garnet Valley, Exchange Student
Shithole MotS pic 2, Mohammed Ziyam Aslam
“It is embarrassing. I do not know why he bans other countries.” Mohammed Ziyan Aslam, 19 Chester, Mechanical Engineering
Shithole MotS pic 1, Ruthgey Genty
“I was not surprised. I already expect the stuff that comes out of his mouth to be sexist or just straight up nonsense.” Ruthgey Jeanty, 22 Darby, Computer Science