The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Opinion: Reflecting on Black History Month

Cauje Curney, City College sophomore guard drives to the basket in the game against Santa Rosa College at the North Gym on Feb 14th Photo by Dianne Rose

Living in the times we do, I feel privileged to be an African-American who knows about the history of African-American leaders who lived before me:  the struggles and sacrifices they had to endure, so that I can live today in a time when I could use the same bathrooms as my white friends.

Hell, the struggles they had to endure, so that I can have white friends.

In February our nation recognizes Black History Month. It is a time to recognize the accomplishments of African-American community leaders past and present, who put themselves at the forefront of  movements for equality and justice.

But the dreams of African-Americans and civil right leaders didn’t simply end with using the same restroom as white people. There were clearly other groups that felt they didn’t have a voice. The fight was always about equality for all people.

Conversations that attempt to focus on marginalized people are often attacked because they  don’t include everyone. I say, “Black lives matter.”  I didn’t say, “White ones don’t.”

Black History Month’s messages of equality can be heard in the sports world, as well. The NBA, a league comprised of a majority of black players, has a huge fan base to which it’s quite influential. So it’s no wonder that around the league, teams take time out during games to educate their fans on the importance of black history.

The Sacramento Kings also took part in recognizing Black History Month. In nine home games throughout the month, the team paid tribute to historical African-American leaders, while honoring Sacramento community leaders with awards.

Chris Granger, the Kings president, spoke of the tributes and the awards via an official media release.

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Pre-game tributes also included videos highlighting important African-American historical figures.

Cauje Curney, 19, a member of the City College women’s basketball team, was at one of the Kings’ games to witness a pregame tribute.

“I thought it was just amazing that they took the time to show different clips of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King,” said Curney, a City College athlete. “It really shows they care about our history.”

These days we see players and coaches using their screen time with the press to spread what they believe is a positive message to the masses. And while some people have the opinion that athletes should stick to sports, I’d argue that we’re all apart of the same community and should voice our opinions when we see fit.

Julia Allender, 34, coach of the City College women’s basketball team, believes that coaches and athletes using their platforms to spread their beliefs can be beneficial.

“I think it’s great,” says Allender. “I think there’s a lot of cultural history and there’s a lot of positive influence it’s had on society and human rights.”

As we seek to break down walls of hate–and as our White House tries to build them–we must remember the mistakes of the past in order not to repeat them. Educating younger generations of that past is the only hope for a better tomorrow–and sports may be one way we can communicate that message.

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