The celebration of Black History Month dates back to 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States (US) and February was designated in 1976 as Black History Month in America. San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE) recognizes and celebrates brave achievements made by black Americans and their essential role in our country's history.
The freedom to learn as one undivided student body didn’t come without a fight. Thurgood Marshall was a civil rights lawyer who fought to end segregation in public schools through Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, in 1954. The Little Rock Nine were the first black teenagers to attend all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957. We have overcome much adversity, celebrated and moved forward in many ways, but we have so much more work to do.
I appreciate faculty and staff who welcome every student with respect and humbled curiosity. Too often American history is shared without regard to racial groups. African-American and black students represent 7% (roughly 3,000 students) of SDCE’s student population and we are honored by the vibrant culture these students bring to our classrooms. SDCE is rooted in serving the higher education needs of every immigrant, refugee and underserved population. As we reflect on how far we have come as a nation, it does not go unnoticed that eight years ago we elected the first black President of the United States, Barack Obama.
Especially during this time of uncertainty and many changes in our nation, as colleagues and educators, we must stand together to help our students and each other to realize the potential of our dreams. In the spirit of Black History Month, I hope you reflect on the tremendous legacy of the true heroes who changed America forever. Select African American educators and education rights activists who we honor this month include: Mary Church Terrell Nannie Helen Burroughs, Mary McLeod Bethune, Maria Stewart, Angela Davis, Marian Wright Edelman, and Dorothy Height. Learn more about these heroes and others.