Emma Newman staff writer
Black History Month has been nationally recognized for decades now, and yet our school continually fails to do the same.
In the month of February alone, NormanAid and ASB have hosted eight different Valentine’s Day and relationship related events, but they were unable to put on even one event regarding Black History Month. No other events have been planned, and while the Black Student Union and the library have attempted to put on events, neither have been put into motion.
While talking about relationships is important, it is utterly ridiculous that our school is giving this much attention to a holiday about Cupid instead of focusing on the rich history that African Americans have brought not only to our country but to the very school we go to.
African Americans have been brutally oppressed for their entire history in this country. From being enslaved to being lynched, the history of how black people have been treated in our nation is horrific. However, times have changed drastically since the days when skin color was what determined whether a person would sleep soundly in their bed or whether they would be seen as an animal.
America is at a point in our history where we have had our first black president, and African Americans are finally being celebrated for their many accomplishments. Despite this, black Americans are still fighting. African Americans have to fight to be treated as equals by police officers with loaded guns. They have to fight to not be treated with inferiority among white people.
In the school that we attend, one that is so predominately white and Persian that some classrooms don’t have a single black student in them, we are almost oblivious to this struggle. There are not many African American students at this school speaking out against racial inequality because there are hardly any students to speak out, which may make it seem like we don’t need to acknowledge that the month is different from any other month. In fact, that is why we need awareness to an even greater degree.
The school cannot be blinded by our privilege and lack of racial diversity. Our community has to become more aware of these issues instead of ignoring them in this very crucial month, and we cannot idly sit by and watch as couples get more attention than the small but very real and vital African American population at the school.
It is imperative that our school, specifically our administration, acknowledges the history of our nation’s most oppressed group. It is cruel to neglect it because in doing so, especially to a group of people at our school no matter how small, it is one step backward in the fight to end racism. If our school doesn’t face these issues head-on, it sends the message that they do not care about African American students and citizens.
Our school should start holding a mandatory assembly about Black History with guest speakers and information. All students need this information because it would allow the students of our school to not only learn something meaningful, but to also inspire people at our school to become more kind-hearted in regards to race.
This month is one of historical significance, and it is harmful to push it away. But it is not a solely solemn month in which the goal is to look back on all the injustices black people have faced. It is to celebrate black heritage and accomplishments. It’s to remember how far we have come as a country and as humans and to never go backward. And, without our acknowledgment of this, we cannot truly progress as a school.