Each year in February we take time to remember and recognize the many black men and women that have positively impacted our country throughout its history. For the first time ever, the Ross Medical Education Center campus in New Baltimore, Michigan was thrilled to do their part in participating. Mrs. Demetria Williams, instructor for the morning class of the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration program, worked with her students to bring awareness to the nationally recognized Black History Month and the heroes that made a difference to the medical community.
During the first week of the celebration, the class passed out ribbons to every student that identified colors found in the traditional kente cloth. The Kente cloth is representative of parts of African culture and some of its significance was shared as discussions took place about the meaning of each color.
- Black Ribbon: maturity, and spiritual energy
- Green Ribbon: vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth and spiritual renewal
- Yellow Ribbon: royalty, wealth, high status and glory
- Red Ribbon: death and mourning
In addition to the ribbons worn throughout the month, the class worked together to make a presentation board that they would display for the entire campus. Famous black role models from throughout United States history were on display. Some of those included Kirksey L. Curd, Cornell’s first African American veterinary graduate in 1912; Robert Tanner Freeman, the first professionally trained African American dentist in the U.S.; and Otis Boykin who in 1959 patented a “wire precision resistor” that allowed electrical currents to flow for a specific purpose which then led to his invention of the control unit used for a very popular cardiology device called the pacemaker.
In addition to the ribbons and African American medical professionals discussed, the Medical Insurance Billing and Office Administration class also provided food for the campus on several occasions. The foods shared and enjoyed by all are popular in many cultures and the campus enjoyed the homemade goods. They can’t wait until next year’s fun and educational experience.