Hayes makes plans to celebrate Black History Month

Black+History+Month+bulletin+board+at+Hayes

Kristen Smith

The Black History Month bulletin board, located outside the LRC, showcases memorable moments and individuals in Black history.

Kristen Smith, Staff Writer

With February right around the corner, Hayes has begun making plans to celebrate Black History Month as a school.
Black History Month is a month dedicated to honoring and learning more about Black Americans throughout history. Black History Month was first nationally celebrated in 1976 and since then, February of each year has been designated to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans.
Hayes principal Ric Stranges is working with a group of students and teachers to ensure that the school is celebrating diversity in the best way possible.
“We have a committee of students and staff who are working on a big presentation for Black History Month,” Stranges said. “February 17…[there will be] presentations of poems, art, stories and music.”
Along with presentations, Stranges said he wants to educate staff and students during the morning announcements.
Beginning on February 1, Stranges is inviting students to research and share information about Black Americans throughout the entire month.
One of the students working closely with Stranges to spread awareness about Black History Month is junior Taylor Brown. Along with presentations and morning announcements, Brown said there are other ways students can be involved.
“[Students] could post on social media to show their support,” Brown said. “Supporting [Black-owned] businesses, or even reading different kinds of books.”
At Hayes, there are also clubs students can participate in year-round.
“African American Student Coalition, the Diversity Club… is another way that students can expand their awareness of, and participate in the enjoyment of Black history and culture,” said Francine Butler, a DCS teacher and the adviser of the AASC.
Butler said she is always looking for ways to educate students about Black history and feels as though all staff should as well.
“They should always be including Black composers in the music programs, they should always be looking at the contributions of mathematicians and scientists of different ethnicities,” Butler said. “The history teachers have the perfect way to keep folding [Black History] in over the course of the year.”
Stranges has also been looking for ways to help better educate staff.
“Our teachers have been part of book studies with Jason Reynolds,” Stranges said. “The staff has been doing a lot of talking about social justice as well, trying to make sure we can have those discussions in classrooms.”
Brown said she feels that a significant part of Black History Month is to acquire respect while celebrating and honoring Black Americans.
“Respect this month just like any other holiday and keep spreading it out,” Brown said.
Students are encouraged to learn more about Black History and its importance over the next few weeks.
“It’s important because Black history is American history, and what some textbooks leave out, adults and children need to know,” Butler said.
Any Hayes students and staff are welcome to help the committee put together more presentations and announcements for Black History Month.
“As I say every morning, reach out to one of the principals, I emailed every student to say, showcase is going to happen if you’re interested, email me back,” Stranges said. “We have a number of students and staff going to be a part of that.”
While the celebrations at Hayes only go through February, Brown said educating yourself is important all year.
“Keep supporting and just keep spreading the word about Black History Month to inform yourself and others,” Brown said.