Midway through the month of February, a sign appeared in the doorway of the MC library, bearing the phrase “All. Lives. Matter.”
News of this banner spread across the student body, and within a few days the controversial pennant had vanished.
It was revealed that the slogan was the product of librarian Maria Faulk’s interpretation of Black History Month.
“I was looking for images to put up in the library,” Faulk said. “I wanted Black History Month to be inclusive, because when you name or label a race, then you start excluding people.”
Faulk found the phrase in an attempt to be inclusive of everyone at MC, unaware of the meaning it represents for younger generations.
“The reason why I put it up is because for me, All Lives Matter is the inclusion of everyone,” Faulk said. “I’m taking it literally, that all of us matter, it is not just one demographic or group [whose] lives have importance.”
To Faulk, Black History Month holds a different meaning than it may for others, which led to the proclamation of “All Lives Matter.”
“The parts of my culture are so much more than 28 days, and really three weeks of the shortest month of the year,” Faulk said. “No one’s culture or race should be separated into a day or a month, it should be included all year long and we should be celebrating who we are as people all year long.”
Several students expressed their concerns to Student Services who then organized a meeting between the librarian and those who held the complaints.
“[The sign] went kind of viral on campus that it was an antithesis of Black Lives Matter […] and thankfully Students Services called a meeting,” Faulk said. “Some students had contacted her and they expressed dismay at the sign and so once I explained where I was coming from with it, they understood, and explained it doesn’t represent what I had hope that it would.”
A new sign now hangs in the library, bearing a revamped, all inclusive phrase for the month of February.
“We came up with a different adage and affirmation so I took what we had generated collective and changed it to “We Are All We Have,” Faulk said. “I thought that reflected the ideas that we came up with together and it was short and sweet and simple.”