The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

The student news site of Oviedo High School in Oviedo, FL

Oviedo Journalism

Black History Month is back in Florida

Poster+to+celebrate+Black+history+month
Snow Pastermack
Poster to celebrate Black history month

As February rolls around again, it comes time to celebrate a historic occasion. We do our best to honor the history of African Americans within our country and its tradition, during the whole month, be it a leap year or not. It is a time of honoring the people of color who participated so much in the formation of the modern United States we reside in today. It is a necessity to learn about the more ambiguous figures in American History, and there are a few present members, and alumni to Oviedo who are learned in the topic.

Jessica Jenkins is one member of the OHS faculty who knows much about the history of Black History month. ” Back in 1915, the whole idea originated with historian Dr. Carter Woodson, and he was pushing for more recognition towards the contributions of Black Americans. Eventually in 1986, he got congress to recognize [Black History Month].”

“Black History is American History” Jessica Jenkins said. “I think it’s important to honor this month because you get to know themes and histories. This year, the theme is focusing on African Americans in the arts, and seeing how that affected culture.” Every year, Black history month contains a theme that will be the subject of education on Black history throughout the month. Aside from education, celebrations are also held to commemorate the accomplishments and progress that has been made in the 247 years since America declared independence. “I do know in some areas more than others that there are parades. We had a parade in Orlando and here in Oviedo not too long ago for, I believe, Martin Luther King day.” When asked who were some of the significant figures Jenkins admired, the answer was, “Frederick Douglass, most people know who he was. But a super important pre-civil war abolitionist. W.E.B DuBois, his look at sociology was very significant. The third one I believe is less well known, but still very important, and that’s John Lewis.” 

Someone else who knows what this month means is Dominique Moise, a freshman at UCF, an alumni of Oviedo High School, and a person of color. “I think the most significant part is about the representation,” Moise said. “Representing all of the important historical figures who sacrificed so much for African Americans.” Many people, including Moise, recognize that the history is something to be recognized and appreciated when accompanied with the representation aspect of Black History Month. “A lot of people can learn about the historical figures that a lot don’t really know about. Like how the first Black girl who went to school was treated terribly, and now everyone can go to school and be ok.”

However, Moise does see the opportunity that this month presents with its heralding. “I would say that the main lesson you can learn from Black History Month would be: encourage each other to actively seek diverse perspectives, challenge systemic inequalities, and work towards creating a more just world for everybody…All the people who educate themselves on Black history learn not just Black history or American history, but a part of the human story. That can foster further growth and unity.”

Morgan Wortham is an Oviedo High School student and person of color who appreciates the values of Black History Month. Wortham sees a truth in the significance of this month. “The fact that people are getting educated about it in the first place, because outside of that, people don’t really talk about it a lot.” Morgan is aware of the fact that the past has a funny way of re-inventing itself, and believes the opportunity of learning in this month is a great way of ensuring such cannot happen. “You got to learn, because if you know your history, if you know the whole history, you can better understand it and avoid repeating it.”

In a time of great division and hostility among many. It should not seem like such a poor idea to celebrate the accomplishments and progress of a minority that faced so much cruelty throughout the centuries. Appreciate the month for what you can learn, and the great men and women who took part in it. Robert Gould Shaw, who led the 54th battalion of Black soldiers in the American Civil War once stated, “Let none feel ashamed to say that the color of his skin is not what determines his worth.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Oviedo Journalism
$600
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Oviedo High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting and printing costs. Thank you!

More to Discover
Donate to Oviedo Journalism
$600
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Oviedo Journalism Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *