Black History Month Spotlight: Jaquor Pugh

jaquor pugh

In honor of Black History Month, Lamar University will celebrate with a series of events organized and sponsored by a variety of organizations, departments, clubs and student organizations that highlight and pay tribute to the achievements of African Americans and important events that contributed to U.S. history.

In addition to university events, LU also chose to celebrate Black excellence by spotlighting several Black LU students, faculty and staff and the many reasons why they feel this month is important and more

This Black History Month, senior university studies major Jaquor Pugh shares what motivates him to be successful.

First/last name: Jaquor Pugh
Major/Classification: University Studies Multidisciplinary/ Senior
Hometown: Beaumont Texas

Why does it feel important to celebrate Black History Month?
I feel as if it’s important to celebrate Black History Month for people of color (African Americans), to understand why Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. fought so hard for everyone to have equal rights. When it comes to Black History Month there is always a time for African Americans to recognize key facts from our past/ present. Black History Month also shines a light on the accomplishments that we as African Americans have fulfilled in this country. Just to point out some of these accomplishments that have impacted several of our lives; we recognize The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Those are just some examples of many setting aside our history of racism and discrimination. Black History Month will always be an important month for us to celebrate.

What motivates you to be successful?
My child is what motivates me to become successful. My family will always play a huge role in my success, but I thrive to make sure my child will always know that her dad has made a way out of no way. In the world we’re living in, being a successful black man is a blessing. An even greater blessing is being able to be successful and share that with my child. I’m not working to be successful and have my talents go to waste, I’m working hard to achieve greatness in the process. Having a place to call home, a nice vehicle to drive, a family to satisfy and goals to reach is such a great motivation to have.

How does Black history influence you as a student or within your personal life?
Black history influences me as a student because it makes me want to contribute more to my community. Many people around me taught me the importance of African American heritage and culture and how obtaining an education wasn’t always as accessible as it is currently. It is my duty to take being a student seriously. When it comes to Black history influencing me within my personal life, it helps me to recognize faults, strengths and weaknesses within myself. Black history will always be a powerful reminder when I think about what has influenced my life.

What advice do you have for the generations of Black students coming after you?
The advice I have for the generation of Black students coming in after me is to never ever grow up before their time. I would advise them to read up on any African American activist to help them understand who they are, what they stood for, and why they stood change. I would also advise them to get familiar with the march Martin Luther King Jr. led and his “ I have a dream “ speech and any other activities that led him to become who he is to the generation of black students. I want them to fully understand that there are no dumb questions, always ask to get clarification. Learning about the history of where we come from will be helpful for them to understand why education is so important.

Did you learn anything new about history in the Black community this year? (this could be personal or broader in a historical sense)
In May 2022, President Biden signed an Executive Order promoting effective, accountable, and transparent community policing — delivering the most significant police reform in decades.

Among other important measures that increase transparency and accountability, it raises policing standards by banning choke holds, restricting no-knock warrants, and requiring body-worn cameras on patrols and during searches and arrests. It creates a new national law enforcement database to track records of misconduct, and it aims to safely reduce incarceration, support rehabilitation and reentry, and address racial disparities in our criminal justice system. Additionally, President Biden signed three new hate crime bills, including the Emmett Till Antilynching Act which finally made lynching a Federal crime.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?
I am a member of the Epsilon Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated here at Lamar University. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.