Honoring Black History Month in Glen Rock High School

by Emilia Pizzillo, Staff Writer

February is a month when we honor Black History. In 1976, President Ford officially recognized February as Black History Month. Black History Month was created with the intention to honor Black Americans from all U.S. history and to shine a light on the contributions they made to the United States. Why was February chosen to be the month we celebrate this? Well, there are multiple reasons. The first one being the birthdays of two great Americans who played a very important role in shaping black history, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, happen to both be in February. Lots of other events happened in the month of February regarding black history that may also be the reason why the month was named Black History Month. Feb. 2, 1862, the District of Columbia abolished slavery. On Feb. 3, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified and guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race and intended to ensure the civil rights of former slaves. From then on, Americans have taken this month to recognize the contributions and sacrifices that African-Americans have made in the U.S. On Jan. 16 of this year, Martin Luther King Day was celebrated. On the third Monday of January, we take the day to celebrate the life and achievements of Martin Luther King. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which protested against racial discrimination in federal and state law.

In order to honor MLK, and the sacrifices he made for our country, the Key Club and Black Student Union of GRHS got together to create a project in his honor. Posters were made to cover the doors of the senior hallway in the high school. Each poster contains an image and quote of an influential person in the past or present, including quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. These posters are still up a month later, and this project will be continued on even longer than that. By doing this, we are honoring the people that MLK fought for, as explained by Ms. Jones, the advisor of the Black Student Union. “Anyone from all backgrounds can make a difference just as the leaders before them,” Ms. Jones added. For example, the posters range from having environmental activists like Greta Thunberg, to artists like SZA. This goes to show that anyone can have an impact on people and that they should be remembered and honored for their contributions. When discussing this project with Mrs. Walter, the advisor of the Key Club, she shared that these posters were placed around the building in order to not only ensure that these meaningful people are being credited, but also so they remind people that they too have the ability to follow their dreams and possibly make an impact on someone else’s life while doing so. By speaking his mind, and following his dreams, Martin Luther King Jr. was able to make an impact on the country as a whole. His sacrifices are just a portion of the reason why we take this month to honor Black History. It is important to honor all of those who have made sacrifices for us to be able to live a better future.