Black history month kicked off yesterday with the Indiana University School of Education’s 8th Annual African American Read-In. The event held at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center hosted IU and local high school students to celebrate diversity in the form of powerful poetry. Approximately 100 students gathered from Bloomington High School North, Bloomington High School South, and Aurora.
The poems were strong depictions of the lives and struggles blacks faced throughout the past and the vision they fought for.
In an emotional reading of a poem, one young woman shouted into the microphone, “So what if I am a black woman?! Hold on, I have rights, same as you! I don’t work for them, die for them, played and laid for them on every plantation from Alabama to Boston and back. What if I am a black woman? I love me. And I want you to love me too.”
Another said, “Why are we walking so far away from the path? Why are we turning our backs to the past? Why are we passing up the opportunity of black history as a class? Why are we still being controlled by a whip centuries in the past? Why my people? Why are we losing this race and okay with coming in last?”
Other events continue throughout the month of February.