ACC Students Talk Black History Month 2024 | Meet Mariama M.

In honor of Black History Month, Austin Community College District (ACC) recognizes students, faculty, and staff commemorating the month by sharing personal insights and reflections. 

Meet Mariama Mbacke, an ACC student since Fall 2022 and a member of the Bold Representation of Achievement through Student Support (BRASS). Mariama is majoring in Business Administration with the intention of specializing in human resources. She expects to graduate in the summer of 2024.

Portrait of ACC student Mariama M.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History Month, although I believe that Black history is American history, is an opportunity for me to highlight my intersectionality, being that I am a black woman in America, and educating people on the different treatments that may oftentimes occur due to that same intersectionality. It is also a month when I like to learn about unsung heroes in the fight for civil rights.

How do you celebrate Black History Month?

Besides going around and greeting my fellow Black comrades like “Happy Black People Month!” with a huge smile that follows and a warm greeting from beautiful Black souls, I have also took it upon myself to hold a Black history session for an hour with my coworkers every Thursday throughout the month. I am teaching them about microaggressions in the workplace and emphasize leaving racist notions of “professionalism” that stem from white supremacy behind.

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

The accomplishments I am most proud of consist of many things, but if I had to choose, the student-led events that I have conducted here at ACC as a Riverbat ambassador. ACC’s Student Life department has offered me the opportunity to create a space for students and to promote holistic growth through events and resources. Most importantly, doing all of this while being my authentic self.

What is a significant moment you had in your life or at ACC?

A significant moment at ACC would have to be being recognized by black women in different positions here. I have many mentors, most of whom are black women, and I cherish the lessons and the ecognition that come from these women. It has had an impact on my growth. They share their experiences and journeys they’ve ventured, and that is significant in its own right.

What does ACC do that empowers your ethnicity?

ACC’s BRASS program has implemented so many things that promote success in black students, and that has empowered my ethnicity.

What would you tell someone looking to start college?

I would tell them to get familiar with the resources that exist. Learning what is available to you and when to use it is crucial during your first two years of college. Lastly, get involved.

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