February is Black History month—a month that is loaded with a multiplicity of ideas and perceptions of what exactly that entails. Within the Black “community,” there is an infinite dialogue about the definition of Blackness. Some of our ideas are so dichotomized that it may seem as if Black is too broad of a term to categorize such an immense group of people. I can personally attest to the fact that my history and culture, as an African American man, is hard for some West Indian or African Blacks to relate and vice-versa. Taking that a step further, my self-identification as a Black man maybe entirely different than some of my peers’ perceptions, even to the extent that we may shun one another’s ideals.
Next Wednesday at 5:30 pm in the Gowen room, six of us will participate in a panel discussion about our perceptions of Blackness. Two Caribbean, African and African American students (including myself) will talk about what it means to be Black in our respective homelands, as well as how are perceptions affect our interactions with one another when we intermingle with other Black communities. African-American and African Studies professor J.K. Marah of SUNY Brockport will be narrating the discussion.