University Celebrates Black History Month


February is National Black History Month and, in conjunction with this event, SFU’s Department of History and Political Science is conducting a Black History Awareness Project on social media.

Black History Month has been officially celebrated in the United States annually since 1976, beginning during the presidency of Gerald Ford. Every American president since Ford has declared each February as Black History Month.

February is the birth month of two Americans who played instrumental roles in ending slavery: President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and Frederick Douglass, who after escaping from slavery, became a national leader in the American abolitionist movement.

Today, Americans of all races celebrate Black History Month as an opportunity to honor and acknowledge the accomplishments of African Americans, past and present.

Denise Holladay Damico, a Professor of History and Chair of the History and Political Science Department, has led an initiative that shares posts with information on America’s Black history throughout the month on the department’s Instagram page.

“I can tell you that traditional historical methods tend to overlook the experiences and contributions of African Americans,” said Damico.

The focus of her department’s posts has been on influential Black historians.

“I would like people to know that Black History Month is about celebrating this rich history and the many accomplishments of African Americans, living and dead,” said Damico.

In addition to this initiative, the Physical Therapy Department has also shared posts highlighting African Americans’ contributions to the physical therapy field – as well as other health science disciplines – throughout the month on its Instagram page.

The Black Student Union has also celebrated Black History Month with regular Instagram posts related to this event.

“I want more people to know about Black history,” said Ahmed I Abd-Elazem, a member of the Black Student Union.