An Embarrassing History of Black History Month at GCAA

Sumayyah Muhammad, Staff Writer

In 1926 a historian by the name of Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced that the second week of February would be “Negro History Week.” This week of celebration later turned into a month and is now known as “Black History Month”, which celebrates the accomplishments of blacks, not only in America, but around the globe. Unfortunately, GCAA has yet to fully recognize the true celebration of Black History Month.

Celebrating Black History Month at GCAA is important for many reasons. A vast majority of the student population at GCAA is African-American, and as someone from that background, I feel that our culture should be further noticed and further discussed throughout this month. This would allow African-American students to feel more confident about their roots and grateful for the people who led the way to give us the privileges we have today.

In addition, I have been attending GCAA since the first year it was established in 2010, and the only significant homage that has been paid to for Black History Month has been putting up timeline banners of “important” events that occurred throughout our history, which is something very minor and unnoticeable to most students here. Although in the past school years GCAA has given little to little to no recognition about Black History Month, but they are beginning to fix this problem and create new events to celebrate Black History Month.

This year the dance and musical theater teacher, Keith Williams, has put together a Black History Month performance about the black culture legacies and accomplishments that have been made.This performance will be occurring Thursday evening , February 26 in the Sun Theater at 6:30 . Photography teacher, Jess Dewes, has also had students who are in the art pathway draw an important African-American figure on a whiteboard in front of the school every morning that also includes a summary of their background and legacy.

Although GCAA has come up with new things for Black History Month, I have come up with more things we should start to do for Black History Month in the coming school years. One idea is that every morning during February  have someone on the intercom talk about an important African-American figure and their effect on society today, which could be people from the past and people that are currently impacting the world. Also, although the Black History Performance is a good start, I think there needs to be an arts-integrated celebration where all pathways are involved. This could be a Black History Night, with art, performances, informational booths, etc.

As an African-American teenager, I feel that learning more about our culture is very important and the new ideas that GCAA and myself are starting to organize is a step in the right direction.