Black History Month through the eyes of Golden Eagles


Fatima Rosales

Artist, Enkone spray painting at the art walk.

Black History Month at Cal State LA is about honoring the cultural, artistic and political triumphs and struggles of Black people.

Students are excited about Cal State LA’s events during Black History Month. However, many would like to see more programs and engagement throughout the year as well.

Ogechi Ukaeje, a pre-psychology major, expressed what Black History Month means to her.

“I think Black History Month is educational,” she said. “It also reminds me that I am important to society as a young Black woman, and I am appreciated.”

For criminal justice major Jourdon Williams, Black History Month isn’t just limited to one month.

“Black History Month doesn’t feel any different than any other day because every day is Black History Month for me,” she said. 

Black History Month is celebrated for different reasons by many students, like finance major Roneal Demerson.

“I celebrate Black History Month because it is a time in which Black culture is praised and discussed by the masses,” said Demerson. “Given some of the harsh realities for Black people in this country, it’s good to solely focus on the positive impacts of many that came before me.”

Demerson also said how motivating and empowering Black History Month is for him.

“It’s motivational seeing how far we’ve come despite many of the obstacles we’ve faced,” he said. “Seeing the strength and courage that many displayed is what keeps me grounded and constantly moving forward.”

Cal State LA’s clubs and organizations had multiple events planned for Black History Month. A few of the events included a self-love workshop with Dr. Daniel Walker, a Black excellence celebration, a navigating career opportunities workshop, Black chat and a live art walk.

“Throughout the year, there are opportunities for students to explore topics of interest related to the Black diaspora. Programs and events are offered through partnerships with the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Pan African Student Resource Center,” the University said.

The University additionally said that Cal State LA is home to a world-class Pan African Studies Department and to the Halisi Scholars Living Learning Community, which focuses on understanding events that affect the Black community and offers the opportunity to connect with faculty, staff and peers.

Raven Johnson, an urban learning major, wants to feel recognized the entire year, not only during Black History Month.

“I love Black History Month, but showing our skills and talking about big issues should be an everyday thing,” said Johnson.

Williams said that she wants to see more Black art and Black culture displayed on campus.

“I would like Black art to be shown more during this month,” she said. “I would like the school to give more space to Black artists in general.”

Daijonna Jenkins, a social work major, said that focusing on the bigger picture would benefit the Black population on campus.

“I would like Cal State LA to find a way to show high schools that this is a university that welcomes Black students, and it is open to creating a diverse population for its student body,” said Jenkins. “I appreciate that Black history is celebrated one month out of the year, but the American education system needs to include Black people more when discussing how America was founded because Black history is American history.”

Jenkins enjoys finding ways to celebrate and honor this month.

“I acknowledge the holiday by spreading awareness on social media, sharing Black businesses and updating my knowledge on Black American history,” she said.

Both Demerson and Jenkins agree that Black people, Black joy and Black excellence need to always be recognized.

“We shouldn’t be acknowledged just one month out of the year,” said Jenkins. “Acknowledge us from the beginning to the end.”

“Black History Month is important because it sheds light on many of the amazing things that Black people have done throughout history and continue to do,” said Demerson. “It’s empowering to see your culture uplifted and hear of the brilliant minds that came before me.”