February in the United States is a month known for its short length as well as its romance. However, an important aspect of the month that is sometimes forgotten is the annual observance of African American History Month, more popularly known as Black History Month. From Plessy v. Ferguson to the Freedom Riders, the month of February is used to recognize and celebrate the culture, accomplishments, and overall contributions that people of African descent have made to society over the years.
In order to commemorate the generations of African Americans that have faced a numerous amount of struggles, different initiatives were created. Facilities such as museums and schools, as well as books, presentations, television shows, movies, organizations, and other initiative were developed, acknowledging African American history. As of today, new ideas are still being developed across America.
Back in 1926, Carter G. Woodson came up with the idea of Black History week and for many years, the second week of February is when people would pay tribute. But over 20 years later, in 1976, the week was expanded into a month long commemoration, which is still in place today.
Today, people all over the world observe and participate this month long celebration by reflecting on African American history, praising and remembering important African American figures, donating to different organizations, spending money on local businesses run by African American entrepreneurs, and more. Specifically at Mt. Hebron, the BSU, or Black Student Union, ran various activities throughout the month of February to spread awareness and knowledge about Black History Month.
Senior Mariah Qureshi said, “The BSU is a very inclusive community at Mt. Hebron and I’m proud to have witnessed the group’s growth and achievements as I’ve been a student here for four years. I think this year especially Black History Month has been showcased a lot more throughout school thanks to the BSU, delta scholars, and other clubs.”
The BSU has planned activities such as kahoots to test lunch periods on their knowledge of African American history, led morning announcements with facts and information about famous events and notable African American figures, and decorated doors of remembrance throughout the school during the month of February.
Another senior at Mt. Hebron also added, “The achievements of people in the past are clearly stated and it is very interesting to learn, but I do think that the true importance of black excellence is to discuss how we can continue to have people of color in different aspects of work should be brought in the light more.”
She explained how students are at the school to learn more, and mentions that it would be beneficial to learn about how black schools within the community are excelling, or to have more representation of diverse backgrounds in all kinds of work.
She said “The importance of Black History Month and the factual element of it is well recorded at the school.”
Black History Month serves as an important reminder of the diverse culture within the United States and depicts the millions of contributions that people of African American descent have made in the past and continue to make today.