In celebration of Black History Month, the College of Humanities is spotlighting faculty, staff and students. This week, meet Brittney Crawford, Internship and Engagement Coordinator and Lecturer in the Department of Public and Applied Humanities.
“Black History Month for me is about the recognition and celebration of Black contributions to American life and society. I have fond childhood memories of going to annual Black History Month Parades and visiting Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park in California. These were community celebrations that highlighted the histories that I never got to study in school and made me curious about what other achievements, movements, and heroes I was missing out on. I carry that curiosity and inspiration with me year-round.
“(Teaching about Black History Month) is critical in providing the historical context for our lived experiences today. There are current movements and popular rhetoric that seek to limit how far history gets to manifest itself into the present—as if the impact has an expiration date. Understanding the history and legacy of institutions like chattel slavery, Jim Crow, and housing policy inequity, for example, give us the context to have a more complete picture of history and work more effectively towards fulfilling America’s foundational promise of life and liberty for all.”
In her years working in school counseling, advising, and teaching, Crawford said she has seen students become more knowledgeable about Black history.
“One of the best things about working in education is getting to engage with students who are curious and passionate about learning things that help them make sense of their world. I’ve seen so much media recently, everything from documentaries to TikToks, that were created by young people that offer accessible and creative presentations of Black History that I haven’t seen before. It’s amazing and I’m so inspired by it!”