Black History Month is the one time of year designated solely for the Black community to celebrate our successes, perseverance, and beauty. Black History Month is meant to be a celebration of Black culture and everything that comes with it. As most of us have experienced throughout our school careers, Black History Month has become a repetitive occurrence. We all know about Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson: the only five Black people who seem to exist in the school system. Although they are brilliant, strong, and influential people, they are not alone in their progression. There are leaders, movements, organizations, stories and brilliance that have been left unsaid. Black History Month should envelope all of this and fuel awareness for our progression throughout the years, despite the overwhelming need for even more progression.
Therefore this year, I want to challenge everyone to learn something new. Regardless of how you identify, educate yourself and immerse yourself in the beauty of this celebration. This year, Oakland Mills High School’s Black Student Union Program––sponsored by Mr. Edryn Coleman––is working hard to make this month as loud and proud as it should be. The celebration will take place within March. It will include daily announcements, a spirit week for all to partake in, hallway decorations and various other activities. If anyone would like to participate or help with the festivities see Mr. Ringgold. With the racial climate of our society today, many people feel uncomfortable participating in movements if they themselves do not identify or aren’t directly affected. I would like to get rid of that thought process and replace it with one of unity. Whether you are White, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, not American, partly American, or anything and everything in between, this is just as much your month as it is ours. Black History is American History and we must never lose sight of that. Many of the things that we use, see and know in daily life we owe to the Black generations of then and now. Our country was built on the backs of our Black brethren and we who reside here and those who do not should realize that. Our country has been evolving with the wrong mindset of division and separation. It is our time and chance now to fill in those cracks, to connect and join together. Black History Month is for everyone and it should always be seen as such. I hope that we can work together as a human race and more particularly as a school to build unity and connection amongst every walk of life. So if you do absolutely anything this month, try to participate, relate, and educate!