February 3, 2021
Dear College Community,
February is national Black History Month. We will be celebrating the herculean efforts of those of African descent in various industries and sectors of our society at a local, state and national level. Many do not know that every annual celebration has a unique theme. The theme of Black History Month for 2021 is: The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.
Black history is America’s history. We must honor this history by remembering that from the onset of the slave trade from Africa, Black families were torn apart, every member treated as a commodity. The spirituals in the cotton fields arose out of a cry for the nuclear family and a need to deal with the enormous pain of perpetual physical abuse as a result of unimaginable labor conditions. Let us never forget.
Sadly, we cannot yet claim we have come a long way, when Black families continue to sit their Black sons for the "police talk," to avoid getting shot or killed. Therefore, we must, at our institution, continue to stand against racism, integrate social justice within our own college systems and structures, so we continue nurturing and empowering Black families in our San Francisco communities and beyond.
I want to acknowledge the efforts of the CCSF Black History Month Committee for organizing such a diverse roster of thought-provoking virtual events for our College community to engage with. Most events require you to sign up. You can access and sign up on the Library's Schedule of Events page.
Finally, I invite each of you to review the Black History Month Compilation of events, so thoughtfully put together by the Office of Student Equity. There is ample opportunity here for the healing of family trauma, reconciliation and empowerment.
In the words of the former First Lady, Michelle Obama: “History has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take a life of its own.”
I want to acknowledge our Black students, staff and faculty for being courageous every single day.
Rajen Vurdien, Ph.D.