It is with particular excitement that The Daily Californian produces its first Black History Month special issue in recent memory. It is also a distinct pleasure to feature the personal narratives, social critiques and creative writing of members from local Black communities — including students and faculty at UC Berkeley.
That being said, sourcing from outside our own staff was not only done out of desire, but out of necessity. There is an unacceptable lack of representation for Black writers in the journalism industry, and The Daily Californian is not exempt from this disparity. It is not, however, merely a question of making space for Black voices in journalism — it is a question of providing access to that space and of dismantling the barriers put in place to systematically suppress Black perspectives.
The history of Berkeley — not so far from Oakland, where the Black Panthers was founded — is inextricably linked to that of Black empowerment and activism. But more importantly, we are still living in a time punctuated with racism, police brutality and inequality. It is our responsibility, in light of these ways in which Black communities continue to be attacked and silenced, to listen, to learn and to do better.
— Shannon O’Hara
Shannon O’Hara is the special issues editor. Contact her at [email protected].