Black History Month celebrated at Morton


Posters commemorating black leaders were posted in the halls by the Black Student Union to celebrate and educate!

Ahitza Garcia and Athena Flores

This past February Morton East celebrated Black History Month. Around the school students could see posters of Black historic figures that influenced today’s world; unfortunately, they didn’t recognize these posters as a celebration.  

In a random survey of 100 Morton East students, 86 students said that they did not celebrate black history month. Black history month was a holiday passed by Congress in February of 1986 under public law 99-244 — but Black History Month has been celebrated for decades before then. In 1926 a man named Carter G. Woodson started a celebration of Black History Week which was later extended to the entire month of February in order to deepen the study of African American History. People often celebrate Black History by supporting Black-Owned businesses, donating to anti-racism charities, recognizing and learning about Black historical figures, and also learning about African American culture.

There are many ways students can honor black history month, whether it’s supporting black-owned businesses, learning about noteworthy black figures and contributions, or donating to black charities that support anti-racism equity and equality.

“It’s important (to honor and celebrate) because it brings awareness as to why we require a month — specifically to honor black history, to commemorate what they had to go through throughout the years, and (acknowledge) the things they had to overcome as well as the people who helped with the progress we have now today,” senior Emily Peralta said.

Another student agrees and emphasizes that history is important so that in this case, history does not repeat itself.  

“Knowing the history will help us understand the problems America has today with racism and its racist systems. Understanding the history could help us dismantle those systems, educate people, and build better systems that work for everyone,” senior Abigail Gonzalez said.

Another student adds why it is important to remember the accomplishments of black folk in our country and acknowledge the ones who have been oppressed.

“My personal opinion for black history month is that we get to celebrate the black culture and remember the black history as well as remembering the accomplishments of strong Americans.  But, there are downsides because there are corporations and companies that take advantage — that monetize it. While black history month is crucial to the nation’s responsibility to acknowledge and celebrate those who have been oppressed for so long, to me it is unjust that companies and corporations just use this month to take advantage, but at the end of the day we should use this month to remember and use it for future generations,” Junior Brenda Rivas said.

Another student mentions how they are unaware of what months celebrate. 

“I don’t really pay attention to what months celebrate on a serious note,” Senior Zinx said.

A parent at Morton East adds how unfair and inhuman it was for African Americans to go through such discrimination and abuse and it how important it is to understand why there is a month.

” Pues, es muy importante ser abiertos y comprender porque se celebra este mes, afroamericanos fueron descrimindos y abusados; lo que tuvieron que pasar  no fue justo y era inhumano,” A parent at Morton East said.

Overall, we see that while many students at Morton East don’t really celebrate black history month, they do see it as important, why we have it, and are respectful towards it.