Black History Month honored


Ashley Spencer

Junior Reese Charles shares facts about Muhammad Ali with the student body during morning announcements.

Every February, Americans celebrate the lives and accomplishments of famous African Americans throughout history. February was officially deemed Black History Month, or National African American History Month, by President Gerald Ford in 1972 and the tradition has continued ever since.

This year, Broken Arrow High School’s student council and Applied Leadership classes are celebrating Black History Month by recognizing African Americans who made an impact on American history during the school’s daily morning announcements.

“I feel like it’s a needed idea to celebrate how far America has come,” senior and student council member Luke Willis said. “I’m celebrating Black History Month by acknowledging the specific people and being mindful of the equality America has brought.”

The students of the high school’s Applied Leadership classes will celebrate a different African American during the morning announcements every day in February. Prominent African Americans to be recognized at the high school include civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela, athletes Jesse Owens and Jackie Robinson and musical artists Ray Charles and Tupac Shakur.

“The morning announcements gives us the opportunity to send a message to all students and faculty,” Applied Leadership teacher Jeffery VanDolah said. “It provides us with the perfect opportunity to celebrate Black History Month.”

Students have appreciated the reminder and recognition of prominent African Americans every morning.

“I think it’s something that everybody should know about our nation’s black history,” junior and Applied Leadership student Lorance Washington said.

“Not just about our nation’s history, but about black people in general. It’s definitely something we should have every year.”

Whether it be Beyonce or Frederick Douglass, all African American lives are to be celebrated this month. Fellow Americans of all races should, in the words of President Ford, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”