The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TCC family reflect on month’s focus

By Shennel Madison/reporter

   February is a month of celebration, especially among the black community.
   This month is set aside to honor the achievements and accomplishments of African-Americans, Dr. Murray Fortner, NE professor of English, said.
   “Many people do not recognize or understand the meaning or the history of Black History Month,” he said.
   Tiffany Martin, NE student, is one of those.
   “ I am aware of Black History Month, but, unfortunately, I do not know many of the people that gave this month its purpose,” she said.
   Fortner said most students do not study the history of Black History Month, nor do they really study history at all.
   “ In an age when being superficial seems more important than being focused, I don’t think most students understand the importance of history, period,” he said.
   Although this may be true, TCC is doing its part in raising the awareness of the importance of Black History Month.
   “ I truly appreciate the effort TCC has put in recognizing this month,” Fortner said.
   “ This is a commuter college, so any program or event is a gamble when it comes to attendance. But for TCC, it is the effort that counts,” he said.
   Students such as LaToya Williams on South are the main people who benefit from the programs TCC sponsors.
   “ I am an African-American woman, and I really do not know a lot about my history,” she said.
   “ I went to some of the programs that were featured last year, and it was then that I realized the importance of understanding my history,” she said.
   Williams said she has taken history classes in school, but those classes left her wanting more information about her heritage.
   “ That was not my history,” she said.
   “ The program I attended was just the beginning of my journey to learn about all my history not just the names that are put in our college history books,” she said.
   As a professor, Fortner incorporates the importance of diversity, not just African-Americans, into many of his lectures.
   “ I have also written a book that will be released next month,” he said. “It, in part, addresses the true meaning behind Black History Month. Black history is real important to me.”
   One of the most important things to remember about Black History Month, Fortner said, is that true equality has not yet been achieved. As a country, diversity is an asset, not a liability. America’s ideal of being “color blind” in reality is still a “color bind.”
   “ When we start to erase racism, then we can write a new American history of inclusion,” he said.

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