Black History Month, recognized during the month of February, is celebrated in 5 countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and the Republic of Ireland. Black History Month originated in the United States and celebrates the achievements of African Americans and recognizes the difficult situations they have traversed throughout U.S. history. It is an opportunity to show the best of African American history and culture, which is exactly what Black Student Union, or BSU, did last Friday.
On February 28th, Quartz Hill High School students got together and represented the African American society. The Black Student Union rally was held during A and B lunch in the main quad, which was decorated with blue and white balloons. Additionally, a tree in the main quad had pictures of many African American figures, including minister and activist Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights activist Rosa Parks, and the 44th president of the United States Barack Obama. Other influential figures included on the tree were Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, Maya Angelou, and more. Nearby, a memorial for Kobe Bryant was set up in honor of the late basketball star.
During the rally, students gathered on benches to enjoy performances from the Hip Hop team, Spanish team, and African dance team. Many students enjoyed the performance, and one shared that they, “really liked the rally because it celebrated Black History Month and it was just fun to watch. The performance shows that Quartz Hill High School really cares for Black History Month.”
Black History Month, though, means a lot more than simply one rally, or one day to demonstrate black pride. The month-long celebration began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S. and, since 1976, every American president has featured February as Black History Month. This year, the theme for the month was, “African Americans and the vote,” in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, finally ending all federally discriminatory laws against eligible voters.
Black History Month is a time for colored people to bask in the glory of their culture and their history. Ariana Pelayo sums up the importance of Black History Month as a celebration of “the movement of equality for colored people…Black History Month is important because it shows that the United States is, not great, but advancing with helping the colored people.”