Black History Month: People Are Influenced By History

Rod Alexander. Photo by Kenneth Ryan.

By Tabitha Barr
Opinion Page Editor

Hutchinson Community College’s computer network analyst trainer, Rod Alexander, says that “people are influenced by history.”

People’s reactions to everyday situations are taken a certain way because it has ultimately been formed from past experiences and knowledge.

This is proven to be true as the way society thinks is based upon history and those who have come before us. “I look at it as the country has a history,” and people tend to follow the curve set in front of them, Alexander said.

Some of these ways are positive in which people continue to push forward in making their lives what they want. However, history can sometimes be a reminder of the closed minded views that people used to have, and some still carry.

February is when the world celebrates those who were treated unfairly. Black History Month was created to praise those who have taken huge steps in gaining the right for equality for African Americans.

It was definitely not an easy task, and Alexander has proven that. Doctorate degrees are not easy to achieve, but it’s certainly less obtained by African Americans. When he graduated in 2012, only 12,621 African Americans received their doctorate degree out of 177,587 in total, based on the statistics from The Condition of Education. That’s only 7.1 percent for that year. His major was in Information Systems and Technology, which he started pursuing after working with computers while he was in the military. He never really planned to obtain a doctorate, as it was just what was supposed to come next.

He soon started teaching at HutchCC, because of the available job posted, and he enjoys his time here. He mentioned that because of the small-town apparatus, people are less aware of minorities and the situations that arise between others.

“It’s a learning experience for everyone,” because exposure is limited in towns where newcomers aren’t common.

“We continue to move closer and closer together,” Alexander said when talking about pushing past racism. “We have to have honest conversations with each other.”

And by doing so, everyone can come together and create an environment that celebrates equality.

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