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Celebrating Black History

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Celebrating Black History

Many students and teachers have come together in order to recognize Black History Month within the school.

Many students and teachers have come together in order to recognize Black History Month within the school.

Lindsey Bowers

Many students and teachers have come together in order to recognize Black History Month within the school.

Lindsey Bowers

Lindsey Bowers

Many students and teachers have come together in order to recognize Black History Month within the school.

Anna Trainum, Sentry Staff Reporter

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Since 1926, the month of February has been a time to celebrate and recognize the various achievements within the African American community. However, it was not until 1976 that the entire month of February was formally recognized as Black History Month. Before 1976, the second week of February was founded as “Negro History Week” by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The once week-long event has evolved into a month-long celebration in which African American men and women who have made contributions to America and the rest of the world are recognized.

This February, many students and teachers have come together in order to recognize Black History Month within the school. Social studies teacher and Sister Circle club sponsor Tracie Selden is a member of the Black History Month Board. The Board, composed of three teachers and two students, has set up various events at school to celebrate African-American history.

“We have come together to figure out what we are going to do in the school to make Black History Month present [in the school]. We have made videos for The Dailies themed around black excellence… and Sister Circle made a big collage [recognizing black excellence] that will be showcased at the Education Center,” Selden said.

In addition to Selden, junior Jade Northover and senior Chloe Merriweather are also members on the Black History Month Board.

“I would love to have more discussions about African American culture in the United States. I would also love for a step team to come and teach… the history and culture behind stepping. I think that we need to have more exposure to [black culture] in history. This should be something that goes beyond just the month of February,” Merriweather said.

There are many key figures in African American history who may go unnoticed during celebrations of black history. The Board is making sure to highlight the lesser known people who have influenced African-American culture.

“We do not want to just focus on Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the people we always hear about. There are African Americans who have contributed, and still are contributing, to African American culture in a very positive way, but people do not know about them,” Selden said.

Arlington Public Schools (APS) planned many events throughout the month of February to celebrate Black History Month. On Feb 24, Charles Drew Community Center hosted a “Feel the Heritage Festival” with entertainment, food, activities and vendors to celebrate Arlington’s African American history and culture. Additionally, on Feb 28, the “Arlington: Past and Future Excellence” community event took place at Gunston Middle School. The event celebrated the contributions of African-American students who were nominated for their academic or athletic achievements.

In addition to Black History Month being recognized in Arlington, there are many worldwide events that took place. In Washington DC, black culture was celebrated through theatre, dance, music, visual arts and the spoken word throughout February. Every year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) announces the theme for Black History Month which creates a specific concentration for celebrations. Since this year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, the international theme is “African Americans in Times of War.”

Even as February comes to an end, African American history does not. This month shined a light on black culture and celebrated the many accomplishments within the African-American community.

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Celebrating Black History