Red, black and forest green. These colors represent the Pan-African flag, as well as the colors embodied by Ujima Pathways, Blackademia students and faculty and the history of the Black community.
PCC’s Ujima Blackademia program sponsored the month-long celebration of Black History Month (BHM) through a series of events on campus for all students to participate in, with a message to relay across all students, staff and outside of PCC: every month can be Black History Month through the power of comradery, as pointed out by Ujima Blackademia advisor Tremeal Bradford.
Celebrations on campus included a Black College Expo, a Black History Parade, an Ujima student versus faculty basketball game, an open mic night and a festival to close off the month’s commemoration. Celebrations also took place at the Foothill campus during the last week of February with an honorable Jackie Robinson art installation.
One of the events, the BHM mixer at the Circadian on Feb. 20, brought students, staff and faculty together to distinguish the significance of this month’s celebrations of Black individuals.
“There’s a lot of people on this campus who don’t have the connections or don’t know that there are other Black and Brown students that are here to support you and show that you can still celebrate us and our successes,” said student Maya Woods. “A mixer like this [shows] the power of Black and Brown people when we’re all united doing good things and how beautiful it is as a unit.”
The mixer was organized by PCC’s Ujima Blackademia Team, a hub’ that provides resources that ensure that any and every Black student at PCC is personally connected to programs such as Transferbound, academic coaching, financial resources and athletic support.
“[Blackademia] is the golden road for success, making sure all of our students meet their own individual goals,” said Bradford.
Students and faculty joined together for the two-hour mixer while dancing to music by a variety of Black artists, creating a space to share culture, friendship and admiration of the Black community.
“In this society, we have been told that it is not okay for [Black and Brown individuals] to be in large groups together,” said Lead Ujima Advisor Gena Lopez, “so for us to be in this college campus and come together and be able to occupy the same space is an amazing thing. If students know that we have faculty and staff members who are there to support them, who look like them, who have similar shared experiences that we have, I think it helps [students] to know that they can achieve and accomplish their goals as well.”
BHM highlights the trials, milestones and successes of the Black community. Today, the works of young Black individuals at PCC continue to celebrate the strides that many lauded individuals such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Maya Angelou have made throughout history .
“It’s about the spirit of love that we embrace one another during this month, feeling the love that our ancestors had for us so that we could be here today,” said Lopez.
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