Scrolling through the #blackhistorymonth Twitter feed, I was shocked at the amount of diverse people celebrating this month of February.
First, I noticed the emoji positioned next to the hashtag: The fist emoji symbolizing power and unity encompassed in a circle together.
Was it only black fist emojis? No, there were three fists of black, white and Latino.
Second, I noticed tweets from people of different backgrounds, including Muslims, whites, African-Americans, senators, lawyers and diverse organizations.
It all struck a chord with me, reminding me that Black History Month doesn’t just belong to African-Americans.
It’s an admiration of African-American history that everyone can participate in, young and old. A recognizing of not only famous African-American people, such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X, but of stories left untold.
People unrecognized for centuries such as Matthew Henson and Ann Lowe.
People taking a stand against a flawed system that oppressed a race of extraordinary people.
We celebrate this month and the courage of these African-American individuals that persisted in a cause they were passionate about.
We also celebrate those African-American individuals who were doing their day-to-day jobs unbeknownst to the impact they’d have on the future.
I encourage people to continue to recognize and share the knowledge of the history kept in the dark, to cure the ignorance of separation and realize that this month should bring people together.
Understanding one another’s backgrounds and origins helps to bring about the footholds of peace.
Albert Einstein said, “Empathy is patiently and sincerely seeing the world through the other person's eyes. It is not learned in school; it is cultivated over a lifetime.”
Einstein reminds us that unity among all will take time, but here on campus we could be the beginning of a movement that could impact the world.
One of our missions at UT is celebrating and embracing diversity.
Our organizations here could bridge the gap between different groups and bring students of different beliefs together. The members of African-American student organizations, for example, can join the Muslim student organizations.
The acceptance of building bridges isn’t limited to these few. I beckon all organizations on UT to continue fighting ignorance.
Everyone needs a reminder of what Black History Month is truly all about.
This reminder can be summed up in just three words: diversity, empathy and love.
William Sanders is a fourth-year communication major.