Welcome to the News’ special issue celebrating Black History Month! This special issue is meant to be for Black people, from Black people, showcasing the unity of the African diaspora and the beauty in Black resistance. I am incredibly excited to amplify the voices of Black students, faculty and professionals through profiles, personal essays, poetry, podcasts, illustrations and photography.

I hope that this special issue serves as a form of Black resistance, appreciating the intersectionalities that come with being a Black person in America while prompting change in the world around us. A special issue cannot and will not possibly cover the nuances of Blackness, but I wish for it to mobilize change. One special issue is not going to address the diversity crisis at the News, nor will it mend the relationship between the News and Yale’s – as well as New Haven’s — Black community. 

This special issue, however, is a way in which the underreported and underrepresented Black communities on Yale’s campus and in New Haven can unapologetically celebrate themselves. It also serves as a reminder to the News that no, we are not doing a good enough job at recruiting Black reporters. If we can recruit and amplify Black voices during the month of February, Black creatives could and should be supported to contribute throughout the academic year. For now, we can think of this as a Black YDN takeover. 

I encourage you to acknowledge the deficiencies in special issues and to learn about the flaws in diversity, equity and inclusion. Read about the Dixwell Avenue’s Underground Railroad, immortalizing the oral histories of New Haven residents. Please read the views and works of poetry dedicated to both celebrating and questioning Blackness. Gaze at photographs telling the story of marginalization. Listen to podcasts about the impact of Black farming

I would like to acknowledge the contributions of those outside of the News. I thank you for submitting content for the first time, and, most importantly, I thank you for trusting us with your words. Your time and efforts are seen and valued. You have always had a voice, and I am glad to have handed you a microphone and speaker. 

Thank you to the members of the News who made this happen, including reporters, desk editors, copy editors, production and design editors, audience editors, photographers, illustrators and management. Thank you to our esteemed diversity, equity and inclusion co-chairs  — Anika Seth, Paloma Vigil, Sophie Wang and Yash Roy. This issue would not be possible without your hard work and commitment. 

We welcome any and all feedback! Feel free to contact us at editor@yaledailynews.com, or email me individually at the email address below. 

Read the Black History Month special issue here!