EHHS students and staff celebrate Black History Month this February 2022 and remember the struggles the black community has faced in our country’s past. Black History Month originated in the United States and is celebrated as an annual observance. It first started off as a week long celebration proposed by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1926, which coincided with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, both important figures in black history. As the celebration and remembrance of black history grew, an organization at Kent University called Black United Students suggested Black History Month in 1969. The “month” was first celebrated in 1970 from January 2nd to February 28th, but wasn’t officially recognized until 1976 when President Gerald Ford deemed it a national celebration. Black History Month is now observed annually by the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
In honor of Black History Month, EHHS is integrating black history into the school atmosphere. There is currently a display in the LMC of a collection from black authors and autobiographies available for all students and staff. According to Principal, Vincent DeNuzzo, the social studies department is also asked to imbed black history into their classrooms at this time. He also says, “One of the things I feel we can do a better job of here is recognizing things like that. Whether it’s Black History Month or Women’s History Month. I think that’s one of the things we lack here. There is a new club forming, emphasizing diversity and equity.” In order to make Black History Month a celebration in EHHS, Mr. DeNuzzo believes that it can be made more visible by using bulletin boards, clubs, groups, and even celebrating and starting events after school. He also suggests using morning announcements, “We can use or P.A. system where we have a part of the daily announcement some type of celebration of someone in American history or even current individuals who have had a profound impact on American Society.” Mr. DeNuzzo recognizes that it is important for EHHS as a community to celebrate Black History Month, as it is a part of our nation’s history. He believes it is important to educate students on these topics because it is “Who we were, who we are, and who we can become as a society.” In Mr. DeNuzzo’s words, “This raises awareness and educates students on those who have laid framework and struggles we endure today as a people. If we don't learn from history we are condemned to repeat it.”
EHHS students have also weighed in on how they believe Black History Month could be celebrated in the school environment. Many say that this month is celebrated in order to remember the struggles the black community has gone through and show love and respect. Offering another idea, Junior Mia Flores Soto says, “It’s a time to remember and appreciate what the Black community has done for the world in contributing their intelligent inventions and artistic creations.” When asked how EHHS brings Black History Month to light, a few students said they don’t feel they see enough of it throughout the school. They wish there would be more of it in their lessons, educating them on black leaders, musicians, and other black figures that have and are currently influencing culture today. Students also suggested putting up educational posters about Black History Month and seeing more diversity during class time.