Black History Month 2021

February 10, 2021

Officially established in 1976, Black History Month, formerly known as “Negro Week,” is an annual tradition during the month of February that highlights and educates Americans about important milestones within the African American community and culture, as well as infamous historic moments that shaped who the Black community is today.

During the month of February, The State Hornet will highlight coverage of Black History Month on this page to celebrate coverage of Black subjects we have done in the past year as well as coverage that we will continue to do throughout the next few weeks. We realize how important this coverage is to the Sac State community, and we are dedicated to bringing you continued coverage of Black History on our website and social media platforms.

President Robert Nelsen announced that grants will be distributed to every student at Sac State after the university received $17.8 million in HEERF funds. Graphic made in Canva.
FAQ: What you need to know about Sac State’s HEERF grant distribution
Colin Madigan February 18, 2021
President Nelsen announced Thursday that grants will be distributed to every student at Sac State after the university received $17.8 million in HEERF funds.
Students exit The WELL at Sacramento State on April 17, 2020. After temporarily closing due to COVID-19 in March 2020, the vision center, located in the WELL, was permanently closed December 2020.
Sac State permanently closes vision center, optometry services eliminated
Students petition for services to reopen
Emma Hall February 18, 2021
With the vision center’s closure in December 2020, students are left to rely on outside services in lieu of low-cost eye exams.
Francis Yuen, faculty in social work, gets injected with his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Austin Friedheim in the Brown Bag room in the Union on Jan. 28, 2021. Sacramento State will send invitations this week for face-to-face faculty and on-campus staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 according to Sac State President Robert Nelsen.
Some Sac State faculty to receive COVID-19 vaccination invitations this week
Faculty and staff currently working on campus with students will be prioritized
Erick Salgado February 17, 2021
Sacramento State will send invitations this week for face-to-face faculty and on-campus staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 according to Sac State President Robert Nelsen.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui toured Sacramento State’s vaccine facility and spoke about President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill Tuesday, Feb. 16. Matsui said the relief package is necessary in order to provide relief for those whose unemployment benefits are lapsing March 14.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui tours Sac State COVID-19 vaccination clinic
Sac State faculty and staff will begin to receive vaccinations Thursday
Robert J. Hansen February 16, 2021
Doris Matsui said Congress plans on getting the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed by March 14 during her visit to Sacramento State’s vaccination site.
(File photo) Students walk across the library quad in May 2019. Sac State revealed this week that students returning to campus for the fall 2021 will not be required to have taken the COVID-19 vaccine.
Sac State will not require COVID-19 vaccine - students, faculty react
‘We’re at the mercy of the school to keep us safe’
Chrissy Martinez February 13, 2021
Sacramento State will not require the COVID-19 vaccine for returning students and faculty in the fall 2021. Students and faculty react to the decision.
American River Courtyard on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2021. Three Sacramento State residents tested positive for COVID-19 after moving into the residence halls Jan. 24, according to Student Affairs and University Housing Services officials.
3 Sac State dorm residents test positive for COVID-19
Erick Salgado February 5, 2021
Three Sacramento State dorm residents tested positive for COVID-19 after moving into the residence halls Jan. 24.
Montana Grizzlies guard Cameron Parker (11) attempts a layup over Sacramento State Hornets forward Samaad Hector (0) during the second half during the conference game at the Nest at Sac State Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. Hector said he got sick and is awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Men’s basketball game canceled as player awaits COVID-19 test results
Mercy Sosa and Camryn Dadey February 5, 2021
Sacramento State’s men’s basketball team cancelled their game on Saturday with UC San Diego after Sac State junior forward Samaad Hector said he got sick and is awaiting COVID-19 test results.
Rachel McMichael, nurse practitioner at the WELL, verifies the identity of Rica Co, second semester nursing student, before injecting her with the COVID-19 vaccine in the Brown Bag room in the Union on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Sac State is following Sacramento County’s vaccination phases to determine which members of the community will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
FAQ: What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine at Sac State
Sac State students should be able to start getting the vaccine in March or April, says Ed Mills
Emma Hall February 4, 2021
Sac State is administering the Pfizer vaccine to healthcare students, faculty and staff in the Brown Bag Room in the Student Union, alongside getting ready to vaccinate the general population of the university community by March or April.
Nursing student Carmel Stewart receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the Brown Bag Room of the University Union on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. Sacramento State began its first rounds of vaccinations Thursday.
Sac State administers its first vaccine doses at University Union clinic
University will email appointment invitations to eligible staff, faculty, students
Chris Wong, managing editor • January 28, 2021
Amid the storms, the first rays of light for the end of the pandemic at Sac State: an on-site vaccination clinic that opened by appointment to eligible campus community members Thursday.
The Ernest E. Tschannen complex took out $18 million from Sac State
Pfizer vaccine expected to arrive this week at Sac State, Nelsen says
COVID-19 vaccine could be administered to healthcare staff and nursing students starting next week
Mercy Sosa January 21, 2021
Sacramento State President Robert Nelsen spoke about how COVID-19 testing will be implemented on campus and Sac State’s budget Thursday at his livestreamed spring address.
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A common theme between the interviewees is a culture of self-hate, where people in the Black community degrade their own or are judgmental of each other, said Sac State kinesiology major Nafia Thompson.

Read their stories

Bridges was the first Black child to desegregate an elementary school in the south when, in 1960, she attended William Frantz Elementary School in Louisiana at six years old, according to the Sacramento MLK Committee.

Read the event recap

Waverly Hampton III said that after moving to Sacramento, the amount of homelessness and litter — and his car being broken into — made him feel like he couldn’t start a family in the city.

Read his profile

The greater Sacramento area experienced an array of activism, including demonstrations from supporters of Black Lives Matter Sacramento and counter-protesters. Activists expressed the need to end racial injustice, while the opposition protested against the idea of defunding the police and in support of then President Trump, as both attempted to find common ground. Photos from the protests

Arts & Entertainment

In the corner of a shopping center on Florin Road is a small thrift shop that looks more like a boutique than anything else. Behind the counter, you would find Passion Bailey, the co-owner of the Hidden Gems thrift store, greeting as you walk in.

About her store

Growing up, Sacramento rapper Evan Odom, who goes by Pyramid Kid, always felt different from his peers. But rather than trying to conform, he decided to be content with standing out.

Read all about Pyramid Kid

Sac State alumnus aims to inspire with his ‘ABAS’ clothing brand

Sacramento State sociology alumnus Farouq Gidado’s father always told him, “If you do something, make sure you do it well or don’t do it at all."

How he made his brand


The State Hornet’s third edition of Stinger Sounds Sessions features the local band BAOBAB, consisting of Isaiah Guerrero, Kenan Jackson, Greo, Okumoja Best-Wilson, Zehrin Sims, Myles Taylor and Joey Archie.

The mellow sound of live jazz music kicked off the second Sacramento Sankofa Market as customers shopped with and supported local Black entrepreneurs offering fresh produce, skin care products, hot food and more. Scenes from the market

Now over eight months into the pandemic, Xzavion Stevenson said he has still been making music in his home studio. He said he had to balance “survival mode versus creative mode” during the pandemic, even though the situation has given him more material to write about. More on the rapper



Makenna Roy

Black culture is not yours to take

From Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian-West to Fergie in the 2000s, white women and celebrities love to take Black culture and use it to their benefit — but they don’t love the Black people who created their styles.

Black women helped shape civil rights; it’s not talked about enough

I began asking myself who my favorite women that I learned about in history classes were. I was unable to think of one.


Jordan Parker

The Rooney Rule has done nothing but fail minority coaches

Another NFL head coach hiring cycle has been completed and once again a qualified minority candidate has been passed up.

The lack of justice for Breonna Taylor is the reality for Black women in America

For this kind of crime, you’d expect that the shooter would receive life in prison. However, in this case the murderer was a cop.

If it wasn’t for John Lewis, I wouldn’t be here today

I paused in a moment of sadness because I knew what he meant to this country. Combine that with the fact that we are still fighting the same fight Lewis helped begin many years ago, and the timing was tragic.


Shiavon Chatman

I am not a person of color — I’m Black

It actually doesn’t exist at all. Person of color (POC) is a blanket term for “non-white.” But you can’t lump everyone together because not everyone has the same values and same experiences.

I was raised by a village that didn’t talk about feelings

My therapist asked me why I felt the need to come to her. She said I seemed “normal.”
This is why Black people don’t believe in therapy. She invalidated my feelings. She belittled me.

Black women are dying and biased medical training is the killer

Black women are dying at the hands of everyone because we’re all conditioned to ignore Black pain if the cries are coming from a Black woman.


State Hornet alumna Shiavon Chatman on being a young Black author

Podcast editor Robbie Pierce and opinion editor Magaly Muñoz talk with Shiavon Chatman, a Sacramento State alumna and former State Hornet editor, podcaster and author of the award-winning column “Shiavon’s Jawn.”

Sports writer Jason Gallardo and multimedia reporter Garry Singh talk to Sacramento State alumnus Chimdum Mez, who was recently drafted by the MLS team San Jose Earthquakes after playing professional soccer in Costa Rica.
Mez also makes music in his free time, releasing beats under the label Chimchilla.

Sac State football player goes from concussion to the kitchen

On this episode of Max’s Table, Max talks to Jordan Thomas: a Sac State alumnus, former Hornet football player and current private chef. Chef JT, as he is now known, previews his recipe for jerk seasoning, talks about his dream of owning a high end sports bar and gives some surprising answers to Max’s question about what food he misses eating from his childhood.


With the pandemic forcing courses to be held virtually this year and the NCAA giving every athlete another year of eligibility whether they have a season in the spring or not, some students have chosen to focus on social justice during this time.

What they're saying

Companies have been forced to close stores or lay off their employees due to the pandemic. However, former Sac State defensive lineman Dariyn Choates has found a way to start his own clothing line ONBS, which stands for “ON BullShit.”

Read the full Q&A

Though more than half of the NFL is Black and a majority of the NBA is made up of Black players, we still have to recognize the experiences and moments that came before the current state in which we live in today.

Three athletes' stories

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