Educate Students on Black History


Barbara Guerrero

A student-made poster spreading awareness for Black History month.

Angelina Abdelrahman, Editorial Editor

Black History Month is dedicated to celebrating and focusing our attention on African Americans’ contributions to American history. This month was originally started by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, who was the founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Dr. Woodson dedicated a week to Black history in 1926. He chose the week that Abraham Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas were born. Then in 1975, President Ford extended that week into a month.

Black History Month is such an important and significant month that is not emphasized enough in school. When I was in elementary school, I was not aware of what the month was and didn’t learn about background information or the significance of it until I got into high school. Typically, the only information teachers give on Black History Month is that it commemorates Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks’ contributions to Black justice. Although these two are significant figures who have contributed so much to society and equal rights and should be recognized, students don’t learn much about other equally significant African American figures. For instance, Ida B. Wells was a writer who spoke against the Jim Crow Laws at the risk of her safety. Or Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who were African American women’s activists and advocated for women’s suffrage.

These are not the only figures who have made a difference in Black history and the fight for equal rights. There are many other individuals who have fought for justice and are not recognized in school. However, Preuss’s curriculum is slowly incorporating these figures. For example, Ms. Boquiren includes information about significant individuals and Black history in every Ethnic Studies and AP US History unit to emphasize their importance. This is effective but it’s only a little information here and there. There should be a bigger emphasis on the history and people all around school.

Black history is American history which means that it should be incorporated into the curriculum more. There is so much to learn about African American experiences in America and the people who have risked their lives to advocate for justice and equality. Furthermore, for classes such as United States History we need a unit that discusses black history. This is important especially during these times where people are adamant on banning the discussion of black history in school. Preuss and various other schools need to push against these restrictions and limits and honor black history and the sacrifices they’ve made.