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The Diversifieds A publication of the EDRC at Grays Harbor College

Volume 1, Issue 3

February 2009

Black History Month By Howard Tenke

February is...

Many often wonder why  Black History Month is in  February the shortest  month of the year.  In fact  comedians often make  light of that very fact.   Black History Month does  have its detractors not just  in the white community  but in the black commu‐ nity as well.  In 2009 it  takes on even more sig‐ nificance with the election  and inauguration of our  first African American  President. 

Lincoln and abolitionist  Fredrick Douglas.  Woodson also founded the  Association for the Study  of Negro Life and History,  now the Association for  the Study of African  American Life and History. 

was an early work in his‐ tory that pointed to black  contributions. 

Transfer Trips  

Students of Color      

EDRC Library 

February 13 —The Ever‐ green State College and  Saint Martin’s Univer‐ sity .  Contact Cal Erwin‐ Svoboda at 538‐4078 for  more information. 

The 19th Annual Students  of Color Conference is April  16‐18.  Contact Brian Shook  at 538‐4015 before February  5th for more information. 

The EDRC’s library is now  open!  Stop by to see our  selection of books & videos.   Mostly topics on ethnicity &  sexuality, both fiction & non ‐fiction. Ask the EDRC staff  to show you the library and  help you with the check‐out  process.  Donations to our  library would also be  greatly appreciated.  

• African America History Month

Black History month does  • Marfan Syndrome Awareness Month have its detractors; it  Awareness Dates: sparks an annual debate  about the continued use‐ National Freedom Day 1 fulness and fairness of a  Imbolc (Pagan & Wiccan) 1-2 designated month dedi‐ When the tradition of  Groundhog Day 2 cated to the history of one  Black History Month was  Candlemas (Christian) 2 started in the US, many in  race. Critical op‐ed pieces  Setsubun (Japan) 3 mainstream academia had  have appeared in newspa‐ World Marriage Day 8 pers across the country  barely begun to explore  T’u B’Shvat (Jewish) 9 black history. At that  Some African JESTINE  point, most representation  radical/nationalist groups,  Lantern Festival (China) 9 of blacks in history books  Taeborum (South Korea) 9 including the Nation of  Black History Month be‐ was only in reference to  Islam, have criticized Black  Saint Maroon’s Day (Lebanon) 9 gan as Negro History  the low social position  Butter Sculpture Festival (Tibet) 10 History Month. Some crit‐ Week in 1926 and was  they held as slaves and  ics, including the actor  Lincoln’s Birthday 12 started by historian Carter  their descendants, with  Morgan Freeman, contend  Valentine’s Day 14 G. Woodson.  Woodson  infrequent exceptions  that Black History Month is  Nirvana (Buddhist) 15 chose the second week of  such as that of George  irrelevant because it has  Arbaeen (Islamic) 16 February because it  Washington Carter. Black  degenerated into a shallow  marked the birthdays of  President’s Day History Month is also re‐ 16 ritual. Some, like Morgan  two Americans who  ferred to as African‐ World Day of Social Justice 20 Freeman, say that it serves  greatly influenced the  American History Month,  Bun Day (Iceland) 23 to undermine the conten‐ lives and social condition  or African Heritage Month.  tion that black history is  Maha Shivaratri (Hindu) 23 of African Americans: for‐ W.E.B. DuBois' 1935 work  American history.  Bursting Day (Iceland) 24 mer President Abraham  "Black Reconstruction"  Mardi Gras 24 Ash Wednesday (Christian) 25 Campus Happenings Intercalary Days (Baha’i) 26

February 27—Western  Washington University.  Contact Brian Shook at 538‐ 4015  for more information. 

All College Day   February 13 is All College  Day at GHC—there will be  no classes. 

The Diversifieds are a publication of the EDRC of Grays Harbor College. The mission of the EDRC is to promote awareness, respect, and equitable treatment of the diverse individuals and groups that exist within our campus and surrounding communities. The EDRC is open to all! Please come visit us in the 200 building.

The Diversifieds

World Day of Social Justice by Howard Tenke

It is the spirit and not the form of law that keeps justice alive.

At its sixty-second session, in November 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 20 February as World Day of Social Justice. The day was observed for the first time in 2009. In his Inauguaral Speech President Barrack Obama spoke of justice and equality stating , “To the people of poor nations, we pledge

to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and

we must change with it.” Poverty is the worst form of violence it is and it will remain as long as there are social injustices in the world. Let us mark February 20th this year as the year social equality and justice truly began by being of service to those who feel the sting of Social Injustices each and every day.

For more information on World Day of Social Justice visit on the web.

Setsubun, the Bean-Scattering by Echo Hahn Festival Setsubun is a very popular Japanese tradition, and several of the larger shrines have yearly festivals which are televised nationally. Priests and invited guests throw soy beans, small candies, money, sweets and other small prizes, and the gatherings become wild events.

せつぶん (se - tsu - bu - n)

Until late in the 1800s Japan followed the lunar calendar, and the period around February 4 was the

beginning of the New Year, as well as the beginning of spring. Setsubun in Japanese means the turns of seasons.

(Japanese goblins) in order to drive away evil spirits and to pray for happiness and good health in the coming year. On this day Hundreds of years ago, beanpeople throw the beans in scattering ceremonies began their temples and homes to take place around Japan while enthusiastically annually on February 3, the shouting, “Fortune in, delast day of the year, to get rid mons out.” It is then the of evils and make the new custom to eat soy beans, year free of old sin. one for every year lived, Bean-scattering, or mameand, in some households, maki, is the practice of throw- one more to bring good ing roasted soy beans at oni luck in the new year.

I, Too, Sing America       by Langston Hughes   

Feb. 1st is Langston Hughes’ birthday. To read his biography and view other poems visit

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I, too, sing America.   

I am the darker brother.  They send me to eat in the kitchen  When company comes,  But I laugh,  And eat well,  And grow strong. 

Tomorrow, I'll be at the table  When company comes.  Nobody'll dare  Say to me,  "Eat in the kitchen,"  Then.   

Besides,   They'll see how beautiful I am  And be ashamed‐‐   

I, too, am America. 

Volume 1, Issue 3

Valentine’s Day by Kirsten Breitmeyer Well, that time of year is once again upon us. The day that young men seek to win the hearts of the girls they love; the day husbands hope to finally be let out of the dog house for forgetting to finish the “honey-do” list. You all know what day I’m talking about. Yep, it is once again, Valentine’s Day. The day that brings hearts and, cupids to mind, and cavities to our teeth. Aside from Easter, Valentine’s Day is the dentist’s second favorite holiday. A day when love is abundant in the hearts of those who can see past all the Hallmark commercialism.

Valentine’s Day has long been a tradition in our culture. It has been dated back to ancient Rome during the time of Emperor Claudius II. It is rumored that St. Valentine was a priest in that time who, after Claudius decreed that young men were no longer to be married in order to serve as soldiers, was rumored to still wed young couples in secret. His reward? Death, by what means is unknown. It is also said that while he was in prison, he fell in love with the jailor’s daughter. Romantic, huh? Before he was executed he wrote her a note and aptly signed it, “Love your Valentine.” (see, men can be

romantic when they feel like it.) So, for those of us that are slaving away in order to make our lives better, and further our education, here’s what I propose for this famous holiday. Finish your homework early, go home, and spend time with the family. Show the ones you love that you care. And you don’t have to buy a gift or send a card. Just letting them know that they mean something to you will make their day.

The Inauguration First-Hand


Awareness Trivia 1.


3. 4.


Which acclaimed black poet wrote: "But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams/ his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream/his wings are clipped and his feet are tied/so he opens his throat to sing."? Who invented three hundred uses for peanuts, and helped revitalized the economy of the South in the early twentieth century? February 1st is National Freedom Day. What particular kind of freedom does this day celebrate? Who said: “If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, ‘There lived a great people - a black people - who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization.’ That is our challenge and our overwhelming responsibility.”? What language does the word February originally come from?

Stop by the EDRC to see if you have the correct answers to this month’s trivia and your name will be put in the EDRC’s monthly drawing.

by Jen Anderson I bumped into a friend I had not seen for a while, and he told me he was traveling to Washington DC the next week to see Barack Obama’s inauguration. I hugged him and was so excited for him. He then stated “if you can find a place to stay you can have the other ticket.” A very dear friend of mine called his uncle early the next day, which lives outside of DC, and I had a place to stay. I booked a flight after hours of searching for prices. My friend helped me find maps of bus routes and the Metro subway. I set out

This is a picture of the crowd in front of the capitol steps on the day of the inauguration.

to DC on Jan. 20th. I arrived in downtown DC around 5:00 pm. outside one of the buildings of the Smithsonian. I gazed upon the hundreds of people walking around and stared in awe at the Washington Monument. I watched crowds of people gather around news cameras and street vendors selling almost anything with Obama on it. I wandered through memorials and ended up on the steps where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech. I stood looking at Lincoln’s memorial and cried. King’s dream would come true tomorrow. I was in Washington DC on the eve to see the dawn of a new world. I felt so proud to be an American standing there, maybe even for the first time in my life. The next day I stood with thousands of others to watch the inauguration. I did not get in due to a mechanical difficulty. I spent my time four floors above the crowd though watching over in amazement at the event. I cried, sang, and prayed with complete strangers. All of us filled with hope and pride as Obama placed his hands on Lincoln’s bible and took oath. This is only a small part of my journey to read more go to It’s a work in progress and will take time to finish so be patient. Page 3

National Freedom Day A Local Legacy What holiday is celebrated on February 1?   It's National Freedom Day. The purpose of this holiday is to pro‐ mote good feelings, harmony, and equal opportunity among all  citizens and to remember that the United States is a nation dedi‐ cated to the ideal of freedom.   Major Richard Robert Wright Sr., a former slave, fought to have a  day when freedom for all Americans is celebrated. When Wright  got his freedom, he went on to become a successful businessman  and community leader in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Major Wright  chose February 1 as National Freedom Day because it was the day  in 1865 that President Lincoln signed the 13th Amendment to the  Constitution. Do you know what the 13th Amendment did?   This amendment, an important change to our written law, out‐ lawed slavery in the United States. Wright gathered national and  local leaders together to write a bill declaring February 1 "National  Freedom Day" and President Harry Truman signed the bill in 1948  making it official.   Source:‐bin/page.cgi/es/pa/free_1

Calling All Writers! The Diversifieds are an extension of the GHC campus and our surrounding community. We would like to welcome and encourage students and staff to submit articles for publication in The Diversifieds. This is a monthly publication. Please contact Erin Frasier at for next month’s topics and to submit articles, poems or artwork.

Further Information: National Marfan Foundation: Imbolc: T’u B’Shvat :

Other Awareness Dates: 5 - Constitution Day (Mexico) 6 - Waitangi Day (New Zealand) 8 - Constitution Day (Philippines) 11 - National Foundation Day (Japan) 15 - Liberation Day (Afghanistan) 16 - Independence Day (Lithuania) 16 - Washington’s Birthday (US) 17 - Declaration of Independence (Republic of Kosovo) 21 - Int’l Mother Language Day (U.N.) 21 - Martyrs’ Day (Bangladesh) 22 - People’s Power Day (Philippines) 23 - Defenders of the Motherland Day (Russia) 24 - Flag Day (Mexico) 24 - Independence Day (Estonia) 25 - National Day (Kuwait) 27 - Independence Day (Dominican Republic)

Deadline for submission in next month’s newsletter is Feb. 20

Equity & Diversity Resource Center DIVERSITY COMMITTEE

360-538-4247 Room 219

Committee Chair: Brian Shook The Diversifieds Staff: Erin Frasier Echo Hahn Howard Tenke

1620 Edward P. Smith Drive Aberdeen, WA 98520


16 16 20 23 24 24 25 26 23 Taeborum (South Korea) National Freedom Day World Marriage Day Ash Wednesday (Christian) Setsubun (Japan) The Div...