Celebrating Black History Month


Art/Photo by Sullivan Kolakowski

Walking through Los Angeles, it’s hard not to feel the presence and all the great contributions of the Black community, especially during Black History Month. February is dedicated to observing and acknowledging the impact African Americans and their culture has had on society. Black Culture Club’s President, Alyssa Reamer (11), described how “being able to look back and see where African Americans have come from gives me a sense of pride knowing that those strong people were my ancestors.”

Shrutika Ezhil, Staff Writer

   It’s February: Happy Black History Month! Black History Month first started in 1976, officially recognized by President Gerald Ford. According to History.com, Ford called upon Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” 

   This month is dedicated to celebrating, acknowledging, and learning about Black culture, but it looks different for everyone. During this observance, many share a sense of pride and appreciation. This month does bring up a lot of emotion, and for Kohana Johnson (11), the Secretary of Black Culture Club (BCC), she feels a mixture of appreciation and anger. “Although this month is time for empowerment and celebration, a lot of what our history is made up of is corruption and oppression and it is something that can’t be ignored since so much of Black culture and history is rooted in it. It can bring up some negative and strong feelings, so it’s important to uplift myself and others while learning more about my history.”

    Black History Month is meant for everyone to celebrate, so why is it important? Johnson suggested that the importance of “a lot of what the Black community has done and created has been stolen, disregarded, profited off of by others, and just plain disrespected. BHM celebrates the richness of our culture, our struggles, and our achievements which truly deserves everyone’s attention and time.” Alyssa Reamer (11), the President of the BCC, added to that and said, “honoring the lives of those who may have changed your life without knowing it; not only those who are widely known, but the small things contributed on a daily basis. A small thank you goes a long way.” 

   To inform others about Black History Month, Reamer said that BCC has held meetings “going over a multitude of historical Black figures from a number of backgrounds…our club has put on presentations every week to inform our members about Black culture and the importance of knowing about its history.” 

   Johnson and Reamer both also shared ways in which everyone can involve themselves. Johnson suggested: “Join a BCC meeting. If you really wanna stay educated though I recommend reading some of Angela Davis’ books, like Freedom Is A Constant Struggle or even take the time to listen to some speeches by people like Shirley Chisholm or Fred Hampton.” Johnson and Reamer also noted that supporting Black creators and Black-owned businesses would help out. 

   But Reamer emphasizes how observing Black History Month doesn’t necessarily mean buying things: “just try to gain an understanding of the people and their culture.”