Black History Month at Malvern

New Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Ms. Danielle Suber commemorates Black History Month with unique events.

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Matt Hess, Managing Editor

“Black History Month, in general, is so important because it’s a time for us to stop and reflect and really recognize the achievements that African Americans have made and contributed to our society,” Suber said.

Both Suber and Mrs. Ann Coia, Assistant Director of School Counseling, agree that Black history should be celebrated for the whole year and should be American history.

“I wish we weren’t in a place where we even had to make it a month and instead be something that people celebrated all the time,” Coia said. 

Suber decided to focus on the monthly celebration of different cultures during the year, starting with Black History Month. She developed the idea after talking with alums and other people in the Malvern community.

“I want us to really celebrate,” she said. “When cultural specific months come together and take the time to really make a big deal about it. But throughout our time and throughout our year here, really recognize contributions that various people of color have made to our history and to our culture.”

Suber holds education as the most interesting and traditional way of celebrating Black History Month. She honors the month by constantly learning more about the culture and history. 

“My favorite aspect or tradition of Black History Month is really just learning. I watch a movie or documentary about someone who I thought I knew a lot about, but I learn something different and the learning never stops,” Suber said. 

Roots, one of the events that Suber hosted, tells a story about a Black family that traces all the way back to the Marimba tribe until the Civil War. The movie is based on an autobiographical telling of a man’s familial history as they struggle through slavery and discrimination in America.

“It really just talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly of slavery and what African Americans went through as they were taen from their homes and borught over to the US and enslaved. It tells how they overcame it and how they survived and started a brand new branch of their family in America,” Suber said. 

The next event featured a presentation on Black inventors that are largely unknown, such as the inventor of the automatic elevator. 

“A lot of people don’t know how many African Americans have contributed to modern inventions that we really take for granted,” Suber said. “They never got the credit they deserved for the inventions they either made or improved upon.”

Coia was present for the inventors presentations and had a great time. She learned many surprising things and was very happy she went. 

“Many people are not aware that contributions from African Americans are in basically every step we take each day, from traffic lights that we wait at each day,” Coia said.

Later in February, there was an event called message in the music. It studied Black spirituals and how they were used to get secret messages of hope to people that were enslaved.

“I think a lot of your modern day music is inspired by older music, specifically something called Negro spirituals. We examined a few Negro slave spirituals and takled about the roots of those stories and things that were expired from hidden messages,” Suber said. 

Finally, Suber hosted an event called St. Augustine: The Heritage of a Saint. It dives a little deeper into Malvern’s patron saint, St. Augustine, who was born in northern Africa. 

“As I was having conversations with Father Reilly and doing his[Saint Augustine] research I found that his country of origin is from northern Africa. I often find that people don’t depict him of a man of color,” she said. “We really wanted to give an opportunity to inform the Malvern community of his identity and explain his heritage and what he has to offer, and Black History Month was the perfect time to do so.”

Suber is grateful for the support of the Malvern community and can’t wait until next year when she can host events that can safely bring everyone together.

“I’m so proud of the Malvern community for the amount of participation that they’ve put towards Black History Month,” she said. “The Malvern community has been so supportive and really actively participated in the events, so I just want to offer a thank you.”