By Audrey Parker
Commemorating Black History Month, Mt. Hebron staff and students decorate classroom doors with photos and facts about black figures. Initially acknowledged by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926, Black History Month is annually celebrated throughout the United States during the month of February.
Many schools kick off the month by speaking about important Black figures and events. Mt. Hebron has many things to showcase throughout the month.
Staff Ms. Harrington states, “Normally we celebrate black history month by giving out black facts through the PTA morning announcements each morning. We also put a lot of displays around the school.”
Mt. Hebron also hosts trivia games about black history and has their own spirit week. During this time students can volunteer to decorate the school bulletin boards and doors with big events and people in black history.
Along with taking a look at black icons throughout history, BHM is all about Black culture and representation.
When asked about her thoughts on celebrating BHM, freshman Mariah Mobley stated, “There’s a lot of culture to celebrate, you get to experience the culture.”
Like culture, representation can be defined as seeing yourself in the media as well as feeling welcomed in your own community. Accurate media representation for the Black community has increased over the years, with TV shows like Black-Ish, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, That’s So Raven, and many more. These TV shows properly showcase Black Americans without being disrespectful to the culture.
Common Sense Media states, “Media representation is important to how kids build their perspectives on their own ethnic-racial group, as well as that of others. Exposure to negative representations can also negatively affect children’s future professional aspirations and undermine their sense of self.”
Celebrating BHM is a way to recognize the struggles the Black community has faced and is still facing to this day. With the rise of social media, stories like George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Lauren Smith-Fields as well as others have begun to shed light on topics like racial injustice and police brutality.
“Black History month shouldn’t be the month where you say I should do something for African Americans and Black communities. It should be that one point in the year where you’re reviewing what you’ve been doing for the whole year. It’s not just one month, it’s the whole year,” sophomore Ryan Opara states.
Agreeing with Opara’s statement, Ms. Harrington states, “Black History Month is a reminder of this being American history. Sometimes people need to stop and think that Black History is not just one month, it’s pretty much every day because we contribute to history every day ever since we’ve been here.”
Since 1926 Americans have found many ways to honor it, from supporting Black owned businesses to reading literature written by black authors. Black History Month, like other heritage months, is an important part of American history. Whether a part of the culture, the history, or just celebrating it, Black History Month is a celebration for all to enjoy.