Announcing Pride for Black Athletes During Black History Month
2020 brought another Black History Month filled with celebration and pride. EHHS celebrated Black History Month with morning announcements honoring black athletes and their accomplishments. These daily announcements were thanks to student Anajha Nelson, principal Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo, and athletic director Mr. Anthony Verderame.
It all started when Anajha proposed the project to Mr. Verderame and Mr. DeNuzzo, who promptly approved the idea. The project started with many overall goals in mind. One goal was to inform EHHS students of the history of selected black athletes and the differences they made in their sport, community, and world. Another goal was to build a positive school community to celebrate all cultures and make the school more inclusive.
The honored athletes were chosen by Anajha with the help of Mr. Verderame. The athletes chosen were mostly people who Anajha said, “[N]o one would really know about, so they would learn something new.”
Celebrations of Black History Month, and other months like it, exist to educate others on the importance of who they are celebrating. This often brings up discussions on why these months are important to each individual. Anajha stated, “It is important because I feel there should be a need to know about Black History Month, all that these people went through, and celebrate their leadership and courage, which I think every student should have.”
Similarly, Mr. DeNuzzo stated, “The hope is that all 900 students regardless of background, race, etc. genuinely start to develop an appreciation for everybody and understand that while their own specific cultures should be celebrated, the cultures of all should be celebrated.”
Black History Month began in America in 1915 in order to celebrate the contributions that black Americans made to society and the world. While the focus of this month is to educate and to honor their past, another focus is put on the future. As far as the future of these announcements, DeNuzzo stated that he would like to see clubs and student leaders continue with projects like this. He put emphasis on the fact that “It's got to be something that becomes the fiber of the regular business here at East Haven High School.”
Anajha said that she would like to continue this project in years to come. “[E]veryone was willing to learn about it and I was glad I did something to represent Black History Month.”
No matter what time of year it is, it is important to reflect on the people and celebrations that make Black History Month special. These announcements were a celebration of the athletes that inspire our athletic department and the athletes we have right here at EHHS. As far as EHHS is concerned, this celebration is one to remember.