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Celebrating Black History Month

POSTED ON February 26, 2020

Black History Month Black History Month celebrates the significant contributions that African American men and women have made to American history. In honor of this month, we asked the Temple Med community the question, "What Does Black History Month Mean to You?" 

Oneida Arosarena, MD, FACS

"Black History Month is a celebration by people who have been and continue to be oppressed. It recognizes their achievements, resilience, faith, hope, creativity and brilliance. Black History Month seeks to address a systemic and pervasive wrong by bringing to the national consciousness a history that has been at best ignored and at worst suppressed. It is truth telling to a society that has chosen to believe myths that ignore the accomplishments of and dehumanize many of its members. Black History Month not only reclaims hidden aspects of American history, but calls on American to honor its pledge of liberty and justice for all."

Isoke Roundtree, MD

"To me Black History Month means celebrating the achievements of excellence my ancestors made. They prevailed through adversity with grace, determination, passion and undeniably made this world a better place."

Karen Lin, MD, MPH, FACP, DABMA, DABIHM

"Black History Month is an opportunity for all of us to learn about and honor the numerous contributions of African Americans, and the richness that African American culture brings to our country. It also reminds me that in the celebration of diversity, we also celebrate the advocacy and unified support of justice and equality for all people."

Megan Ward, MD

"Black History Month is a time for me to stop and reflect on the sacrifices my ancestors made for me to be the physician I am today. For example, the first Black female graduate from Temple School of Medicine, Agnes Berry Montier, graduated in 1912. Her perseverance and fortitude remind me of the responsibility I have to my community and myself to continue to strive for success. We still have so far to go to ensure that the field of medicine is diverse. It is also important to remember that Black history is American history. The contributions of Black Americans improve our lives every day and are woven into the fabric of this nation."

David O'Gurek, MD

"Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate Black Americans who have paved the way of progress; however, it's presence must ever serve as a reminder of the systemic injustices and institutional racism that necessitates its need. It must be a time to reflect on our biases, implicit and explicit, and advocate for Black history to be truly celebrated and respected by all people and all systems, year-round"

Menachem Leasy, MD

"Black History Month to me is a reminder of just how tremendously proud I should be of my cultural heritage. It is a time to not only celebrate the innumerous accomplishments of those who have come before me, but to be inspired as well to carry the mantle of excellence."

Megan Healy, MD

"It reminds us to critically examine how racial inequities play out in our city and in medicine. Then we can identify and dismantle systems that disadvantage patients of color by working with community members as we improve medical education, as well as research and advocacy for those we serve."