How schools should properly celebrate Black History Month

Layla Vega, Editor

Black History Month is a nationally recognized celebration of the accomplishments of Black people. This is an important time for Black students that should not be forgotten or downplayed. It is crucial to acknowledge Black History Month in schools, even in small ways. 

Black students need to believe that their education system empowers rather than silences them. The proper celebration of Black History Month is simply one way to showcase this. It is an opportunity for everyone to learn about various Black cultures and experiences. 

Showing films, hearing from speakers and reflecting with students are fantastic methods to examine Black history thoughtfully without bias and misconceptions. Schools should also highlight one Black history fact every day and encourage students to contribute more facts. Schools can arrange creative activities and classes that highlight the Black experience. 

There are more Black heroes beyond Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman. They are not the only Black heroes to exist in Black history. Students should also learn about Angela Davis, Ella Baker and many more Black historical figures. All of these people are worth discussing in classes, just as much as the other well-known Black figures. If schools focus solely on a few Black heroes, they pass up the opportunity to share other influential, revolutionary stories from Frances Barrier Williams, Wyatt Tee Walker and Huey P. Newton. This results in an incomplete portrayal of the past. Black history should not be diminished, covered up or altered, especially in schools. 

It is vital to engage students in discussions about racism and the hard truths of Black history, however, schools should not concentrate too much attention on the tragic, horrifying aspects of the Black experience. Black History Month should also be a time to celebrate art, culture and ideas. Black History Month should continue to be about honoring Black contributions. 

Schools should assure students that Black history is important and valuable. Black history should be embraced and taught by the education system. If schools made a genuine and sincere effort for Black History Month, Black students’ academic experiences would be vastly improved.