Editorial: Black History month highlights importance of antiracism


Courtesy of Wake Forest

This year’s BHM shows more than ever that antiracism is important.

Editorial Staff

As Black History month comes to a close, the Old Gold & Black recognizes that a single month is not enough to properly honor the contributions Black students, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, community members and many more have made to Wake Forest University. 

Wake Forest’s Black History Month 2022 events, many of which the Old Gold & Black covered in the News and Features sections, have been testaments to the enduring excellence of Black artists, musicians, writers and scholars on this campus. We applaud organizations such as the Black Student Alliance and the Intercultural Center for the informative and evocative programming they have conducted throughout this month.

Additionally, during this year’s Black History Month, late Professor of English Dr. Maya Angelou was honored as the first African American woman on U.S. currency. Due to this fact, more attention has been paid to the incredible contributions Angelou made to this community while she was here, and rightfully so.

Celebrating Black excellence at Wake Forest is crucial. However, it is also essential that Wake Forest intentionally do the work of atoning for its participation in — and legitimization of — white supremacist violence from the institution of slavery to eugenics. The university has taken critical first steps in its work to remove the name of slaveholder and former University President Washington M. Wingate from buildings and roads. The next step is to critically question the ways in which the university has promoted and still promotes white supremacy.

Additionally, Black students on Wake Forest’s campus face daily instances of violence, as well. We encourage students to find Instagram posts on @dearwfu to see examples of these disgusting acts of racism. We call on students to think critically and intentionally about the ways in which they are passively or actively promoting anti-Black racism and to root those practices out of their lives. We also applaud the administration’s antiracist work and eagerly await its continuous action against these patterns of hate.

The lessons and shared experiences of Black History Month show that Wake Forest is a place where Black excellence has flourished, and they also show that white supremacist violence has had and does still — regrettably — have a home here, too. As Angela Davis says, it is not enough for Wake Forest not to be racist, it must be antiracist. So let us begin the earnest work of making Wake Forest an anti-racist institution.