Black History Month


Photo by Michelle Ford

Michelle Ford, Reporter/Photographer

Students and staff celebrated Black History Month (BHM) by participating in a spirit week, creating posters, and putting together a slideshow.      

According to the HISTORY site, before Black History was celebrated for a month it was referred to as Negro History Week. February was chosen as BHM because Fredrick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were both born in this month. BHM was created to celebrate Black achievements and to show that Black people were not just slaves. They were doctors, inventors, and teachers. 

“A lot of people don’t understand some of the stuff that Black people have gone through over the years and so it’s good to inform [them]” Sophomore Ryan Malcolm said, “Some people tend to shy away from it, but it is still very important to talk about.”

Many teachers and students feel that it is important to talk about Black History outside of BHM.

“I would say it’s important because it brings awareness to a culture of people that’s contributed greatly to America,” Nikisha Diggs said. “We talk about the same people every year but the truth is there are more, hundreds if not thousands, of Black Americans that contributed to this country.” 

There are many safe places for Black students where they can get guidance like the African American History Club, Destined Daughters, or Our Brothers Keeper (OBK). To celebrate BHM, OBK had a trivia game and Destined Daughters created a slideshow.

“OBK is Our Brother’s Keeper,” Raeshawn Bishop said. “[Students] can work together and build relationships with one another, building a community. It gives [students] a voice, there’s people listening to them, and they are being heard. They are people that care about them and we wanna help guide them into the right direction. Black History Month is important because a lot of the time our history is not out there as much as other types of history. We just need to learn and understand where we came from. We were more than just slaves and we were more than Jim Crow Laws. Africans and African Americans…do a lot of things to help the community, to help the world and we need to celebrate that. Our history goes way back, and still to this day we’re making Black History.”

OBK teamed up with the NAACP Louisa branch for a trivia game. They had prizes and talked a lot about Black History.

OBK is a club for minority African American boys and Destined Daughters is a mentoring group for minority females.

“It’s a subgroup of black, which stands for Building leadership, character, and knowledge.” Linda Tyler said. 

The slideshow that Destined Daughters made played on the school’s TVs. It had facts and pictures of Black scientists, artists, and politicians.

“We are a group of Black women that get together to talk about Black women things… You can celebrate Black History Month by dressing up [for spirit week],” Junior Daja Wells said.

Spirit week included dressing up every day. For example, there was Black-Out Day, Dashikie Day, and HBCU Day.

Many teachers and students feel that it is important to talk about the achievements made by Black people.

“I think it’s very important for people to understand that the United States is very unique,” Assistant Principal Dave Blanchard said. “It is a country where people come from a lot of different backgrounds and cultures. For a good portion of U.S. history, there was this idea that there was only a certain segment of the population that was achieving those things, and the achievements of those other folks were not really recognized or celebrated. We see that as something that is wrong and so it is important for us now to bring to light some of those folks.”

The librarians created a Periodic Table of Black History. Librarian Laura Watkins found the idea on social media, and the other staff members helped create the posters. Students learned more about Black accomplishments by visiting the library and doing their own research. 

“You can read books!” Mrs. Watkins said. “We would love that, being librarians. I have trivia we put on Instagram for the library that you could do at home and you could look at our posters. It’s important to learn about Black History because it’s history. We were all around when these things happened and we all need to learn about it because it is important.”

“It’s a very important contribution to the history and culture of our country, that has frequently been overlooked or not contributed to the correct people,” Librarian Rebecca Sharpley said. “It is important to learn the truth and give credit to who it’s due.”