Happy Black History Month! Black History Month 2022 kicked off with major internet-breaking moments. From Rihanna’s pregnancy announcement to a M-E-T-H-O-D Man digital cover from ESSENCE—we refuse to be modest about it—the possibilities for the remaining weeks are endless. As usual, the first week of Black History Month is a reiteration that nothing moves in this world without contributions from Black people, past, present, and future.
So if you were busy minding your merry Black business and feeling especially empowered, here’s a few things you might have missed.
1. Wale Loves Black Love
There is just something about Black Love during Black History Month, so close to Black Love Day and Valentine’s Day. D.C. rapper Wale must agree because he turned his show at The House of Blues into a magical moment for one couple on Monday night. In front of a sold-out crowd, Wale invited Chicago actor, Corey Williams, and his girlfriend, Ivy on a stage decked with flowers under the guise of just celebrating the couple. After Ivy called Corey ‘perfect’ Wale passed the microphone to the couple. Corey only uttered a few words before the crowd erupted anticipating the proposal. Naturally the proposal followed a performance from Wale of hit song “Matrimony” featuring Usher. Check out the tear-jerker below.
2. Juveniles Linked To HBCU Bomb Threats
It wouldn’t really be Black History Month in America without Black people being threatened with violence. For the second time in less than a month, over a dozen of historically Black colleges and universities across the country were forced to lock down campuses and cancel classes because of bomb threats. By the end of the week, NBC reported that the FBI identified six “tech savvy” juveniles as persons of interest in the threats. Officials believe the threats to be racially motivated. HBCUs have a long history of being targets for racial violence.
The Dean of the University of Washington’s Graduate School in Seattle, who studies the history of Black educational institutions, Joy Williamson-Lott, explained to NBC, “These institutions represented the drive for equal opportunity and a threat to white supremacy in the South.” She continued, “Public Black institutions were deliberately underfunded, controlled exclusively by white trustees, and some were deliberately located in remote parts of their states. White elected officials never intended for them to be successful, only to train Blacks to work in a segregated and hierarchical society.”
3.Southern Heritage Classic Abruptly Ends
In other HBCU news, on Wednesday, Jackson State University announced Wednesday that their football team will no longer participate in the Southern Heritage Classic against Tennessee State University. To those that don’t know, the Southern Heritage Classic, is one of the most attended HBCU classics in the country. Classics take place during college football’s regular season, but differ from standard regular season games. The Southern Heritage Classic in itself is a pretty big deal, so JSU pulling out so suddenly is an even bigger deal. JSU stated that their governing athletic conference, Southwestern Athletic Conference, has entered an agreement that conflicts with their agreement with the Southern Heritage Classic. JSU’s agreement with the Southern Heritage Classic wasn’t supposed to end until 2024. Both the JSU Tigers and the TSU Tigers have played in the classic since it began in 1990.
4. A “Stealth” Omicron Subvariant Is Here And It’s Spreading