For Divine Nine, Black History Month is a month of heritage and awareness
Black History Month is a time to celebrate the contributions African-Americans have made to history. For the Divine Nine, their celebration lasts all year long.
The Divine Nine is a collection of nine African-American fraternities and sororities and comes from the National Pan-Hellenic Council, which was formed in 1930 to welcome African-Americans to the same social and philanthropic opportunities as other races in college.
Interdisciplinary studies in social science senior Darrius Gregory is the president of his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha.
“Black History Month is definitely a month of reflection, understanding and accepting,” Gregory said. “And loving the fact that we are people of color and that we matter and we exist.”
Gregory said that by joining his fraternity, he wanted to be a part of a great legacy and continue the successes that people before him had. APA was the first African-American fraternity to be founded in America in 1906.
“The biggest thing that I pull from Black History Month is the idea of service and educating people about the fact that our experiences actually do matter, but hold value,” Gregory said.
Reminding people of the value that African-Americans have in society was a commonality shared within the Divine Nine.
Economics junior Christopher Raxton is a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and also holds the Keeper of Records position. For him, Black History Month is an annual attest to the powerful African-American impact on U.S. society.
“For me, it's really important to just reiterate and make sure that we share the importance and how relevant we think it is to everyone that surrounds us,” Raxton said.
KAP has used the month to promote positivity and give back. He said his fraternity feels that it's not only important to achieve personally, but they’re ultimately trying to instill ambition in others through community service.
Interdisciplinary Studies in social science senior Legacy Cannon serves Delta Sigma Theta as its president and rushed more than two years ago.
“I’m all over the place with Black History Month because I feel like it should be a year,” Cannon said. “Black History Month should not be just celebrated in a month because we have a lifetime of history that should be displayed and should be recognized.”
Cannon said that she was appreciative for the platform, but people should be aware that African-American people are a part of society and should not be segregated.
“Black history is not seen as American history, and I want it to become a part of that,” Cannon said.
Gregory was in agreement when he said that it was important to recognize Black history throughout the year and not just during the month of February.
The fraternities and sororities each devoted a portion of the month to celebrating African-American heritage and promoting awareness.