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  • Iolanda Faulkner

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Black History month is reported on by Iolanda Faulkner and Selena Hylton

In honour of Black History Month, we asked some people around the school how important black history month is to them. It is important that we understand other people's opinion on Black History Month and understand where they are coming from. Bolingbroke is a fantastic community and when we asked around the school what they thought, it just screamed one word: acceptance. That is what Back History Month is all about; it's about accepting other regardless of their race.

A student said “Black History Month is a month for black people to be loved and accepted as people. It is important to recognize their hard work and celebrate their contributions to the world as it still, sometimes, goes unnoticed.”

We asked another student why Black History Month is important for them and this is their response “Black History month is important to me because black history is not celebrated often - self-consciously, we tend to ignore it.”

Listening to these two students just goes to show that many people see Black History Month as an opportunity to appreciate black people’s value to our community. Seeing and interviewing these people made us realize that we needed to include everyone's perspective (yes even the teachers!)

So, we asked Mr. Jackson what it means to him, and this was his response “I think Black History Month is a fantastic opportunity to do something that we have neglected to do for too long: namely, it celebrates the huge contribution that black men and women have made to society. Back when I was growing up (which, admittedly, was a long time ago!), black history was either ignored or misrepresented, so I am so glad that the world has finally made space - both on our calendars and within my mind - to celebrate and to learn and to thank. That's what it means to me!”

We also asked Ms. Nicholas Brown and gave us the most heartfelt response, “Black history is important to me because there is more to black history than slavery and suffering. Even though black history shouldn’t be isolated to one month, it is still a valuable time to bring awareness and an open conversation about the hidden stories of black pioneers.”

And Ms. Dawkins also gave her point of view “Black history month is an opportunity to understand black stories, uplift black voices, and spotlight those who have made a difference in our culture and history. Black History Month means looking back at the impact pioneers and leaders of the black community have had on our community, organizations, and cities.”

Seeing all these people give their opinion and ideas of what black history means to them shows that everyone is supportive, and all understand that black history should be celebrated more than we usually do. To celebrate black history month, we also gathered some facts that might interest you about black history:

  1. Barack Obama became the first African American president in 2009.

  1. Black History Month is celebrated in October in the UK and January in America as this remembers the death of Martin Luther King in 1968.

  1. In America, the first self-made millionaire was a black woman.

Black history is especially important because it gives people the recognition that they deserve. Black history should be celebrated everyday even if it is Black History Month or not. We should celebrate black people in the past, present and future!

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