February is the month of relationships. Whether intentional or not we all start thinking about relationships well before the 14th arrives. This can mean celebrating with a romantic partner or celebrating with Galentines. Romantic relationships are not the only relationships to be celebrated this month though. I think in order to strengthen all of our relationships and really understand each other we must understand where we each come from. Black History Month is something that everyone can celebrate, not only just those of us who are black but others as well because we are all a family, especially here at Clemson. Together we can honor the history that has come before us and learn how we can make our present and future better.
Nationwide, institutions and individuals are celebrating this month in various ways. Below are some of the ways that our Clemson Community is celebrating Black History Month.
The Gantt Multicultural Center is hosting many different events. Some of the upcoming events include:
February 15 Keynote Speaker: Alex Tha Great
February 16 Ancestry Workshop
February 18 Game Night Sweets & Spades
February 20: Call My Name Tours
February 20: Woodland Cemetery Tours
February 22: For the Culture: Open Mic Night | Special Guest: Ebony Stewart
February 23: Black Caucus Meeting
February 24: Guest Speaker: Dr. Millicent Brown
This past weekend, the Gantt Center partnered with Clemson Athletics to host Soul Food Sunday. This event brought students, faculty, and student-athletes together over a delicious meal. There was music, dancing, and games truly giving it a family cookout feel. Everyone gathered and found community through this event. It was special getting to see so many students together who had never seen one another before – all enjoying the afternoon together.
In honor of Black History Month, Student-Athlete development created UNITY bracelets for our Clemson athletes. The first of this month I was happy to be able to help hand out these wristbands as our athletes walked in the doors of the Nieri Student-Athlete Enrichment Center. As they got their wrist bands we asked the athletes “What do you want your legacy to be at Clemson?”. They each took their time and wrote down a word, phrase, or paragraph explaining what legacy they want to leave behind once they graduate. The answers varied and were each incredibly powerful.
“Be the best teammate I can possibly be” “I want my legacy to be that I gave 100% in the classroom and on the field” “Make the world a more inclusive place” “Inspire other African-Americans to be great in this world” “Be that dude” “Someone who cared for others”
These are just some of the many legacies that they wrote down. I challenge you right now to pause and think about what you want your legacy to be. Write it down even. It really is powerful to think that each of us will have a legacy and we get to choose what that will be.
As a leader within Tigers Unite – a Clemson student-athlete led organization, I was very honored to be able to help put this event together. MCA, our Multicultural Alliance, was able to connect athletics with the rest of the Clemson community. My hope for the event was that students and faculty from all different parts of our family could come together to just see new faces and make new connections. There was lots of happiness in the air at this event and I am sure that the Black History Month celebrations in the future will continue to be even more unifying. Some questions to ponder this month as we continue to celebrate Black History are “Why do I believe this is important to celebrate? And “What can I do to celebrate?”
—Eleonor Gunnarson-Wright, Communication Intern
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