February 1 marks the beginning of Black History Month, a national observance when Americans recognize and reflect on the contributions and resilience of African Americans throughout U.S. history to today. The University of Georgia marks the month with celebrations of those, specifically current and former students, for their brilliance, perseverance, and strength.
In the university’s history, the UGA community remembers resilient students such as Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, the first African American students at the University of Georgia in 1961, and Mary Frances Early, the first African American graduate, earning a master’s degree in music education in 1962. View the entire Black History at UGA timeline here.
Speaking about the importance of Black History Month to her personally, fourth year student Myesha Mateen discussed several reasons to celebrate and engage during the month.
“I not only get to celebrate my identity as a Black woman, but also celebrate Black culture, especially on campus,” said Mateen. “To me, Black History Month is about joy, celebration, and experiencing our sense of community being amplified as we celebrate Black culture.”
Mateen is the president of the Black Affairs Council, a student organization that works to preserve, enhance, examine, and celebrate Black culture on UGA’s campus. She expressed that she is looking forward to Freshman Advisory Board Week during this month which will end with the annual Unity Ball on February 23. She has been a part of BAC planning their first ever Black History Month Day of Service in the Athens-Clarke County community with other Black organizations on campus. These and many more planned events will highlight the unity and diversity of UGA’s students coming together.
All students are welcomed and encouraged to attend and participate in these events. Multicultural Services and Programs invites you to the various student organization’s events listed on the Involvement Network.