Black History Month By Liza Stooksbury and Sissy Muro
February 16, 2011By Coby Ginsberg of Hillwood High School
February marks the beginning of Black History Month, a nationally celebrated holiday that recognizes African Americans that have greatly impacted our country. From inventors, to politicians, to speakers, and even just black citizens; around every corner of history holds a man or woman who changed the way we live today (although we may not know it).
We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice. -- Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) on founding Negro History Week, 1926.
Dr. Woodson is considered to be a pioneer of black history, and is given much credit in the recognition of Black History Month. Deeply disturbed by the lack of African Americans seen in American textbooks, Woodson took it upon himself to write black Americans into history. In 1926, he created Negro History Week; and in 1976, Negro History Week expanded into Black History Month.
During this month we celebrate the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Madam CJ Walker, Rosa Parks, Langston Hughes, (and so many others), and the differences they made to our lives and the world we live in.
We asked some staff the following question to see who has made a difference, in their eyes, to the history of black people: To you, who is the most important person to black history and why?
Coach Beard: My parents. They instilled in me great values and influenced my way of thinking as a black citizen, and a black woman.
Mr. Ginsberg: Barack Obama. He shows how far our country has come along, and how much our acceptance of diversity has grown.
Mrs. Dial: Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. They both helped to desegregate our country and instill the importance of black rights in citizens throughout the country.
Mrs. B: All black people are important to black history because they stood up to make a difference, and helped the world be what it is today.
Mr. Burlingame: Jackie Robinson. He paved the way for African Americans to play in the Major League and exhibited great courage.
Mr. Salato: “A big part of me wants to say someone other than Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but after reading his essay entitled “The World House” I would have to say that Dr. King might be the most influential person of the 21st century, of any race.”
Coach Shuff: Tommie Smith. He was able to win, and break the record, for the 200 meter dash in the 1968 Olympics (despite all racial controversy in the world at this time). He was really able to stand out, and be extremely motivating through it all.