February 1, 2024

Celebrating Black History Month with Sisters

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Delta Zeta Women's Membership Organization | Delta Zeta Sorority

To most Delta Zeta members today, we have always known February as Black History Month. It has only been since 1976 when then-President Gerald Ford designed February to celebrate Black History Month as a time to honor the achievements of Black Americans that, in the past, would go largely unrecognized. 1

Although Black History Month has been officially recognized for 48 years, it has its start 50 years earlier. The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) sponsored a national Negro History Week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.1 “The intention has never been to dictate or limit the exploration of the Black experience, but to bring to the public’s attention to important developments that merit emphasis,” shares ASALAH. 2

This year’s theme is to celebrate Black achievements in the arts. For too long, society minimized the contributions of people of African descent to the arts and even has their artistry in many genres mimicked and/or stolen.2 Many Delta Zeta sisters who identify as Black contribute to that history of achievement in the arts. We have been lucky to recognize those sisters in The LAMP of Delta Zeta over the years. From Kyndall Foote, Gamma Omicron-San Diego State (CA), featured in the Spring 2020 issue and her experiences as a professional dancer, to Brianna Robinson, Alpha Rho-Ohio Wesleyan, whose story we shared in Winter 2018-2019 and is rewriting the traditionally white-space that is professional opera. As we celebrate together as sisters, this month, we will share more experiences from Black sisters who have contributed not only to our sisterhood but also to society with their achievements.

1 https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month

https://asalh.org/black-history-themes/

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