In honor of this year's Black History Month, Mississippi State University's Holmes Cultural Diversity Center (HCDC) has partnered with many other campus organizations to hold meaningful programming and celebrate Black history.
Throughout the month of February, the HCDC has offered a number of events, including online panels, movie nights and a social media video series of MSU students discussing what Black history means to them.
One of these students is Kerry McKenzie, a senior majoring in secondary education. He said Black history should be recognized year-round because of its impact on modern life.
"Black history is world history," McKenzie said. "Oftentimes, people push the history of Black people and people of the African diaspora into a single month and attempt to tell the whole story in a mere 28 days. If you were to delete the contributions to humanity that were given by Black people, then the story would be very fragmented and disjointed."
There is only one week left in Black History Month, but there are still many events to come. Some have also been rescheduled due to the weather.
MSU's Student Association is hosting three Black culture-centered events this week, including a fine art exhibit on Feb. 22, a virtual Black business expo on Feb. 23 and a program on the history of Black fashion on Feb. 24.
On Feb. 24, keynote speaker Kiese Laymon, author of "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America," will read from the new edition of his book and then speak with MSU Rhodes Scholar and African American Studies instructor Field Brown at 6 p.m.
This event is online and can be accessed through the Television Center's website.
The African American Studies program and the HCDC are also hosting a screening of "Harriet" which will take place in the Sanderson Center Lot at 7 p.m. on Feb. 26. Food trucks will be available.
Also on Feb. 26, SA is hosting a program called, "What MSU would look like without diversity" in the Union from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Timothy Hopkins, interim director of the HCDC, said Black History Month is a time of reflection for the community.
"This is a time to honor the Black Americans that made so many contributions to this world," Hopkins said. "It is also a time to reflect on those that lead movements and fought against racism. It is important to continue celebrating those who broke societal norms and the challenges that they faced during those times."
While McKenzie has attended several of the events during Black History Month, he said his favorite was a panel he joined on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy sponsored by the Black Student Association on Jan. 20.
"I was privileged to be on the panel, and I enjoyed many of the questions that were being asked," McKenzie said. "They allowed me to think outside of the box and relate the legacy of Dr. King to many other aspects of leadership and impact."
MSU is also holding a conference for minority students, "A Seat at the Table," to discuss how to navigate and excel in the professional world. This event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Taylor Auditorium on March 6.
Topics include brand-building, minorities after college, how to be an LGBTQ+ ally and minorities navigating through a COVID-19 world. Registration can be found on Cowbell Connect.
Vice President for Access, Diversity and Inclusion Ra'Sheda Forbes said she hopes the spreading knowledge of Black history and experiences will drive future change.
"I am excited about the events taking place during Black History Month on our campus," Forbes said. "We are particularly living in a time that I hope is a turning point for Black people. This change has to be fueled by education and knowledge of Black experiences worldwide."