Students feel Black History Month is underrepresented


As Black History Month comes to an end, society pays tribute to the struggles and triumphs of African Americans.

One can trace the roots of Black History Month all the way back to 1927. The founder of Black History Month was Carter Godwin Woodson, a profound historian in the 20th century.

“It’s important for us to recognize our history and remember how we all achieved equality as a nation,” said Juliana Hedstrom, the Granite Bay High School librarian.

Woodson first launched “Negro History Week” in order to showcase achievements and contributions African Americans have made over time.

This week long celebration soon morphed into a month-long  recognition.

Origins of Black History Month

“Civil rights is a pretty important issue in this country, and a lot of the most important civil rights leaders were black,” GBHS senior, Ryan Fang, said. “I’m grateful for their contribution towards the creation of a society with more equality, not just to black people, but to people of color in general.”

Many educators believe it is important for students and staff to delve deeper into Black History Month, for people to coherently understanding the true meaning and understand our global conflicts.

“As someone who is African American, I find it crucial for us to recognize Black History Month,” freshman Jada Harper said. “We have fought hard for equal rights.”

Harper said she thinks her culture is only rarely represented at GBHS.

Freshman Hamsah Ahmed said few if any of her teachers even talked to students about Black History Month.

GBHS students don’t take a history class until their sophomore year, but Ahmed was still surprised at the lack of focus on Black History Month in her classes.

“I know what it is but none of my teachers really covered it which is sad because it is important for us to recognize the contributions African Americans have made,” Ahmed said.

Fellow freshman Destini Jacques, however, took a different stance on  Black History Month.

While most students say they believe African Americans are equal in today’s society, Jacques said that’s often not been her experience.

“I feel outcast in the environment at GBHS just because I’m black, and a lot of sisters fight for me to have a right to speak,” she said.

MORE: Learn about African American history and contemporary issues

Jacques said she also hasn’t heard anything about Black History Month in her classes, and she thinks the school is failing to appropriately recognize African American culture.

“They can have the teachers talk about someone (who represents) black history or just say something over the loudspeaker,” Harper said.

Currently, the only initiative GBHS takes is dedicating a section in the library to Black History Month.

“I wanted to dedicate a section of our library to Black History Month so students would recognize the wonderful civil rights movement,”   Hedstrom said.

“I hope our school recognizes Black History month more starting from next year,” Fang said. “ It’s important to honor the civil rights movement.”