The first two events Kaleidoscope has held for Black History Month have already passed and boy did we have a lot of fun! We have a total of four major events this year. First came Clyde Pickett.
Clyde Pickett is an educator, cultural commentator and activist. He covers works such as diversity, male leadership development, collegiate athletics and education. He does lectures regularly at numerous local and regional media outlets. He has 12 years of experience in higher education leadership and serves as the Director of Multicultural Development and New Student Orientation at Ohio Northern University.
Dr. Pickett came to talk to Hanover about the history of Black History Month and how it all got started with Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was the son of slaves James and Elizae Riddle Woodson. His father fought in the civil war, and they soon moved to West Virginia because they heard they were building a high school for blacks.
Woodson earned a doctorate in history at Harvard University and was the second African-American to do so (W.E.B. DuBois was the first). Then he joined Howard University as an educator and served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Woodson is considered the father of Black History month. In 1926, he declared the second week of February, “Negro History Week,” marking the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Soon February became Black History Month.The common thinking is that they gave us Black History Month because it is shorter; no, that is not true, it just happens to be in February.
Before Dr. Pickett left he gave us three assignments to do: first, learn your history. Black History Month is not just for African-Americans. One of the prime reasons it was made is for Abraham Lincoln, so it is everybody’s history, we all have roots in the same place. Second, take a class about your history and read books such as “The Invisible Man.” Lastly, educate someone. After you gain as much knowledge as you can, tell your classmates about Black History Month and take pride in it.
Clyde Pickett was very inspirational in the way he talked; his voice was clear, he made us laugh at some points and he was quick to the point. He involved us in his speech and he dropped some knowledge on us, because personally I did not know who or how Black History Month was started. And I was like most people. Why did they give us the shortest month on the calendar? But that’s not true.