Gwinnett Technical College wasn’t a very active participant in Black History Month. Their first program, put together by the school’s Veterans Affairs department in honor of this month occurred in 2020. Despite its student body consisting of students of color, there’s still a lack of participation in Black History Month and racial politics. on campus.
Our school is very diverse. So in favor of not stirring up drama with students of other racial backgrounds, many students shy away from speaking about racial injustices. Take the recent mishandling of the situation in Memphis, for example. It resulted in the tragic passing of Tyre Nichols. Black students’ outrage here wasn’t as boisterous as one would think, and students here don’t seem to want to ruffle any feathers.
Many students also tend to avoid attending gatherings dedicated to Black History Month. They’d much rather go out with friends or attend parties when they have free time. The few programs put together by students aren’t able to expand their programs. The school also refuses to fund its programs because they find it wasteful due to the lack of participation.
Speaking with students, I’ve found that many don’t want to kick up unnecessary dust with others on campus, and they feel that engaging in some of these conversations may cause drama. When asked, other students were so preoccupied with other things that these issues weren’t top of mind. The lack of activity in this space comes from the sensitivity of our generation. There’s so much censorship and people being brutally chastised for speaking their minds, making it difficult for students to speak.
To combat this here at Gwinnett Technical College, I suggest creating groups of like-minded people who could stand with you when met with adversity. For example, there’s an engineering program on campus; there are not a lot of African American participants in this program. So starting a club or program to highlight the achievements of African Americans in that space may bring more attention to the engineering program. Furthermore, it may cause some from the Black community on campus to consider joining.
Do you feel Gwinnett Technical College students should get more involved in racial politics and Black History Month? Do the students at your school host any gatherings or programs dedicated to this month?
Zada Luby is a first-year student at Gwinnett Technical college; she’s a nursing major who loves art, nature and helping her community grow. Follow her interests and more here.