Inclusive Interactions

Black History Month - February 2017


Inclusive Interactions is a publication released by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion designed to generate intentional conversations among members of the Fredonia community about inclusive topics. Community members are encouraged to dialogue with others related to this topic and discuss the "food for thought" questions below.

History of Black History Month

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans.The celebration was expanded to a month in 1976, the nation’s bicentennial. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” That year, fifty years after the first celebration, the association held the first African American History Month. Since 1976 every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

Shared from and found at

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The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:

  1. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions
  2. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences
  3. It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture
  4. It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington, D.C. to engage new audiences and to work with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.

"This Museum will tell the American story through the lens of African American history and culture. This is America’s Story and this museum is for all Americans."

LONNIE G. BUNCH, III Founding Director, NMAAHC

Shared from the National Museum of African American History & Culture at

Food For Thought

Take a moment with yourself or with colleagues, friends, and co-workers to consider the following:

1. How do you celebrate your ethnicity?

2. Are you aware of how other people celebrate their ethnicity?

3. What can you do to educate yourself on the celebration of different ethnicities and cultures?


The primary goal of the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is to create a campus climate that is favorable to the development of the human potential of all faculty, staff, administrators, and students. To achieve this goal, the office has three major responsibilities: compliance, equity of services, and diversity.

Content written and organized by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion student intern:

Anissa Scharborough