Black History Month Spotlight: Khalaya Coleman


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 broadcasting major Khalaya Coleman shares what motivates her to be successful.

First/last name: Khalaya Coleman
Current Title: Senior, broadcasting
Department: Palmdale, California
Why does it feel important to celebrate Black History Month? 
Celebration keeps us alive reminding ourselves most importantly why we keep going. Being able to look back and see how far we’ve come and know somewhat of the truth of our past.  We can put down our constant defensive tactics and bask in the glory that WE ARE. We create, We connect, We prevail, We love and We cry. Of course, celebrating Black History isn’t mandatory, but it’s an opportunity to spread positivity and love for our race that is mildly recognized, but wildly replicated. 
What motivates you to be successful? 
I crave my higher self. I can feel her, see her and I want to be her. I know that she holds power and in order to reach that level I must keep pushing. I trust that everything I ever need or want will come to me, so I put little time into worrying about my future. Rejection, loss and vulnerability are all emotions essential to my development. Though I fear them, I try not to avoid them, but rather accept them to induce change physically and emotionally. I don’t define success in the amount of money I make or material things I can collect. Rather in my happiness and my ability to be effortlessly and shamelessly whole. I crave evolution, that’s what keeps me motivated.  
How does Black history influence you as a student or within your personal life? 
It keeps me focused on wanting better for myself. Helping remind me to finish college not for me but for my future. Doing stuff for myself that’ll set me up with a successful future. At a point where people can look back in the past and recognize the efforts and sacrifices I made for them.  
What advice do you have for the generations of Black students coming after you? 
While it’s important to use your college experience as a tool to network and connect with other individuals, it’s imperative you focus on your own perception of who you want to be. Don’t forget to self reflect and be aware of who you’re investing your time in and how that may effect you while discovering yourself.  
Did you learn anything new about history in the Black community this year? (this could be personal or broader in a historical sense) 
From the invention of the three-color traffic light to automatic elevator doors, our people have been inventors from the start. One thing I found interesting was the invention of the cotton gin. This machine was patented by Eli Whitney, a white man, but he was assisted in the creation by a woman and two black slaves. A monumental time in Black history and American history that is rarely known.