“It’s vital for universities to teach Black History because it’s American history,” said Chloe Horton, a double major in Africana Studies and Law.
“Many think of the two as separate things, but Black history is deeply ingrained in our everyday lives. It’s important to teach the good, bad, and the ugly, even if it makes people uncomfortable. Learning Black history also shows people a different perspective, one that is very valuable in understanding what social issues we care about such as police brutality or redlining,” Horton said.
Horton pointed to her Introduction to African American History course as a valuable way to learn more about Black history, especially lessons on the how the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, which upheld racial segregation laws, has impacts even today.
“I chose to major in Africana Studies because my history is undertaught. I also feel it’s important to know your own history in order to connect your past to your present and future. Learning my history helps me be a better advocate for myself and others. Realizing how Black history connects to today’s social issues encourages me to look at others’ history too in order to better understand what social issues matter to them,” said Horton, a first-year student from the Washington, D.C. area.
In addition to her class load and involvement in the College of Humanities Student Ambassador program, Horton is the undergraduate representative on the College’s Committee on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
“I’m so honored that I get to take part. I hope that I bring valuable insight as a student because what I see and experience is different than what staff and faculty see. To me, it’s meant that I’m having a direct impact on making the university a better place for everyone, which is really exciting,” she said.
After graduating, Horton plans to go to law school, but hasn’t decided on a particular focus yet.
“I plan on going to law school but I’m not sure what direction I want to go in yet. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for a long time, but I want to explore other options and paths in the field of law. That’s why I’m excited that the university offers a undergraduate law degree because it will help me figure out what I like and create more specific career goals,” she said.