Black History Month at the University of Pennsyvlania sign now

We, the undersigned students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Pennsylvania, are deeply offended by the University of Pennsylvanias failure to officially recognize February, 2010, as Black History Month.

Ultimately, this is embarrassing. A Google search for University of Pennsylvania Black History Month yields the following top 4 results:
1. The UPenn Black Law Students Association
2. The UPenn African Studies Centers Today in Black History
3. Cal U Berkeleys university press release recognizing Black History Month
4. Philyburbs.coms Black History Month events in and around Philadelphia

The troubling omission from this list is any official recognition of Black History Month by the University of Pennsylvania.

We commend the universitys events held to celebrate Martin Luther King Day during January. But along with great achievements such as those of African-Americans, the present -- at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, in the United States of America, and in the world -- was equally shaped by the injustices committed in the past. As George Santayana said, Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

We recognize that there are no essential differences, aside from the most superficial, between members of different races. Therefore, there ought to be no need for a Black History Month; history programs ought to include the stories of all peoples. The history of African Americans is the history of white Americans, it is the history of Native Americans, it is the history of Latinos in America,it is the history of Asian Americans; African American history is the history of all Americans. Yet as long as people judge others based upon the color of their skin, and as long as the stories of African Americans are omitted from the pages of history, there is an absolute need to recognize Black History Month.

We demand that President Amy Gutmann officially recognize February, 2010, as Black History Month. Furthermore, we demand that a panel be convened coinciding with the official recognition of Black History Month. The panel should include Dr. Gutmann, faculty and leaders of the university, and community leaders of Philadelphia to discuss the history of interactions between the communities of the University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia.

This letter will be delivered to President Gutmann on Monday, February 22nd, to allow ample time for a response. If you agree with the above statements, please sign and make your voice heard!

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Jim BartonBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
President Amy Gutmann

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