RHS commemorates Black History Month

Jalissa Long-Jolley, Business Manager

In order to progress in an era where our constant battle is freedom and happiness, it is essential that we remember how far we have already come. Black History Month allows us to celebrate all of the African-Americans who stepped up to the plate and changed our stubborn society for the better.  Without their important achievements, we would not be enjoying simple life pleasures such as living and working together where we aspire and do what satisfies our own happiness.

Black History Month first started in 1926 by Dr. Carter G Woodson as “annual negro history week.” In 1976, the whole month of February was celebrated as we know it today, with the convenience of also reminiscing the birthdays of Frederick Douglass, an outspoken fugitive slave whose experiences were used as a testimony to others, and Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president who publicly expressed opposition towards slavery.

In our short month of February, there are innumerable people, along with Douglass and Lincoln,  to whom we should give recognition. RHS students share their own personal heros.

“Michelle Obama has inspired me the most. She was not only the First Lady but the first black lady. She’s very proud of who she is and very intelligent,” senior Kayla Rogers said.

Michelle Obama also had roles prior to becoming the first African-American First Lady, including being a lawyer, a Chicago city administrator, and community outreach worker.  While in the White House, she put full effort into stopping childhood obesity, supporting military families, and encouraging the National Service. In addition, supporters also look up to her for raising the first family and her breathtaking fashion statements. She, along with many other African-American women, have become role models to the young ladies of today. Remembering these empowering women gives all girls encouragement to have strength and pride in despite of diversity.

“Michael Jordan is my inspiration because he changed the game,”senior Derrick Lawrence said.

Michael Jordan is a retired NBA basketball player who won six total championships, five Most valuable player awards, and an Olympic gold medal. On court, he played for both the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. Off court, he is known for playing in minor league baseball for the Birmingham Barons, acting in Hollywood films, being a businessman, and participating in charity work. He is an exemplary leader who displays where hard work can lead to.

“Harriet Tubman was a great woman leader. She led the underground railroad and I appreciate that,” senior Alontae Parker said.

Harriet Tubman was an abolitionist who escaped slavery only to help others escape with her. Known as “Moses of the People,” she helped thousands leave the south and lead them to the north. Along with helping many escape, she was a Union Army Scout and a nurse. Previously named an American Hero, Tubman is recognized for being the strong, independent woman that she was.

All of these amazing African Americans, and others alike, have given this generation and generations to come the aspiration to achieve greatness inspite of race. We have no excuse to forget who these people are and the privileges set by their actions. In recent years, it seems as almost all of the freedom they fought for has turned into faint memories of the past.

“Even when we mention Black History Month here, it is set aside. We should be learning more than just Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks,” senior Tia Whitman said.

If we do not give recognition to the challenges and tribulations of the all people before us, it would not be difficult to take for granted the privileges and freedoms we all share today. Through the month of February, we are able to give appreciation to the ones who gambled their freedom for the dream that each of us could one day join hand in hand together as an equal. Failing to remember the past could lead to reliving the same mistakes in the future. Because of each individual who overcame diversity, we are able to live in a society where different is good.