Black History Month Special Issue: A Foreword from the Editor

This special issue is a labor of love and a project that has been in the making for over a year: enjoy!

By Solana Adedokun

Hello! What you’re holding in your hands (or reading online) is something very special. This 30-or-so page labor of love is the inaugural The Chicago Maroon Black History Month Issue, made in collaboration with the Organization of Black Students (OBS), the African and Caribbean Students Association (ACSA), Blacklight Magazine, and the Georgiana Rose Organization (GRO). 

A lot of you might be thinking the same thing: Is this really the first Black History Month Issue the Maroon has done? Why has it taken so long? At least, those are the questions I asked myself before I pitched this idea to the current Editors In Chief! Historically, The Maroon has sorely lacked not only coverage of Black people and the South Side community, but diversity in all aspects of production, making it difficult to actually have enough momentum to create an issue like this. 

Though I’m not as involved in each Black RSO as much as I would like to be, this issue is a love letter of sorts to the Black UChicago community. Coming from a predominantly white institution K-12 school, I never really had the chance to develop strong friendships with other Black students. Now, I know, no matter how much you’re involved, the Black community here will accept you with open arms.

This issue is not The Maroon’s “I’m sorry” letter to the UChicago and South Side Black communities. Rather, it is mine and almost 30 other primarily-Black contributors’ from these partner RSOs platform to celebrate and empower the Black community while also educating non-Black community members about the struggles and successes that Black people face everyday in our own community.

After the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, we stand at a watershed moment in our lives for Civil Rights issues: being keenly aware of the injustices that have (and continue to) plague Black people for centuries, but also implementing and creating tools to change the future for Black people. Change can start anywhere, and, right now, I want this magazine to be a place in our community where change can start. 

This Black History Month do more, be better. 

Without further ado, welcome to the very first The Maroon Black History Month Magazine! Here’s to (hopefully) many more in the future.