by SOPHIE GORECKI - The importance of Black History Month and how it was celebrated at WHS.
Black History Month is a time for all to honor our country’s history, as well as acknowledge the vital contributions of African Americans to culture and society. To celebrate Black History Month this year, the Westfield High School Black Student Association put on a series of lectures with topics such as: African Americans in the music industry, significant African American athletes, and Indiana’s rich Black history.
One of the lectures featured English teacher and author of “Race and Football in America: The Life and Legacy of George Taliaferro”, Mrs. Dawn Knight presented on athletes and their ability to incite political action.
“I talked a little bit about the subject of my book, George Taliaferro, but I also talked about other athletes who used their platform to create social change and equity,” Mrs. Knight said. “Then I also talked about some academic research about how effective those protests are.”
The lectures provided an opportunity for students of all ethnic backgrounds to learn and celebrate African American history.
“It is really important that everyone celebrates Black History Month because it is everyone’s history,” Mrs. Knight said. “I think in doing that and looking at a historical perspective it gives some context for issues we have today so we can move to a place of equity.”
Informing others through lectures on African American history is also meaningful to Black Student Association member Elijah Wright (10).
“It's important for people to know the heritage and culture and to spread that message especially here in the northern counties” Wright said.
Black Student Association is a place for students like Javeyon Averitte (10) to express themselves and connect over shared struggles not only during Black History Month, but year-round.
“It helped me to become more involved, and helped me feel like I’m not the only person going through these issues,” Averitte said. “It helps calm me down because I have people I can talk to.”
Black Student Association’s celebration of Black History Month highlights the importance of African Americans in our community, as well as the strength found through diversity.
“No matter what your color we all have a beauty and a uniqueness, and we’re better when we have a lot of color,” Black Student Association co-sponsor Mr. Brandon Casburn said.