Happy Black History Month

Lily C Escalante, Writer/Editor

“Black History Month has officially been recognized by every U.S. president beginning with President Gerald Ford in 1976, when he called upon the public to ‘seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history,” Ms. Green said. 

Green is the advisor for the Black Students’ Union and is the woman behind the posters being hung around Washburn Rural this month. While walking down the halls of the school, quotes from Oprah Winfrey, Martin Luther King Junior, Booker T. Washington and many other historical icons line the walls. For many people, Black History Month can mean ‘not-being-racist or used to push a political agenda. 

Ms. Green said, “I do not think Black History Month is a political topic.” She went on to say, “Today, Black History Month continues to be an annual celebration and time to honor the achievements and contributions African Americans have made as well as to recognize their central role in U.S. history.” 

Ms. Green said to celebrate the pillars of our culture and history, “Students can be involved in celebrating and honoring Black History Month by engaging in the activities that our Black Student Union has put together this month. These include creating and putting up Black History Month posters, making Black History Month buttons, and participating in Black History Month trivia. There have also been a series of announcements read daily during this month that highlight important contributions and achievements of Black Americans. Students can also help celebrate this month by helping to raise funds for our Black Student Union by purchasing an “Ubuntu” shirt through The Shack. “Ubuntu” is an African philosophy that can be translated to “I am because we are” and highlights the importance of compassion, humanity, and connectedness. In addition to school-related activities, students can further educate themselves by engaging in work created by Black authors and artists, watching movies and documentaries, listening to podcasts, going to museums, supporting Black-owned businesses, donating to an organization or charity that supports anti-racism, equity, and equality, etc. The list goes on.” 

Similarly, Green highlights the importance of celebrating this month, “Throughout school, some form of history is taught (World History, U.S. History, etc). This is usually taught through textbooks that oftentimes only focus on slavery and the civil rights era. While learning about this is important, it is also pertinent that we go beyond that and integrate Black stories, experiences, and histories throughout the curriculum as there is so much more to learn. Although Black history and the accomplishments of Blacks cannot and should not be contained to one month, celebrating Black History Month in school allows us to acknowledge and remember the resilience and courage of Black Americans in the face of injustice, as well as honor all of the sacrifices, hard work, intellect, and creativity they have provided and continue to provide to help make this country what it is today.”

Ms. Green and the Black Student Union have dedicated their time and resources to recognize the people who made history and encourage the student body to join them in this celebration of not only Black History, but Black Culture and its contributions to the U.S. Happy Black History Month!