February: Not Just A Month

Staff writer: Lani Yun

 February: Not Just A Month

 In the second month of the year, we celebrate a lot of things. Valentines day, a 24 hour period for lovers to show even more affection than the other 365 days of the year, birthdays, which tend to happen every day, and even ground hog day, where American’s look to a rodent to foretell our futures in weather. But besides all that, there’s a certain occasion that lasts throughout the entire month, and that occasion would be known as black history month.

Typically when people hear the words “black history month” they think of pain and suffering, the years of oppression and torment that African American people went through. Now, while those aspects of the month are very real and true, a lot view black history month is a time for celebration of freedom and breaking free of labels, appreciating their history. Not just as a time to mourn ancestors who fought for a better life, but to thank them for all they did.

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A painting done at the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum

There’s a ton of history, culture, and background that goes into this month. From Rosa Parks fighting for her right to sit in a seat of her choice on the bus to Martin Luther King Jr. Giving his “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. February is a time to remember and thank all of the people who fought so hard, whether you know their names or not. Quoting Taylor Krugar, a senior at Woodstock high school, she says “I think black history month is a time where all of us should come together and appreciate how far we’ve come as people and a society.”

At the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, the history of African Americans is a key focus to the visitors. Showing the laws and effects of segregation in the early 1900s, the struggle for freedom, civil rights activists and more, the museum is only one part of the thriving culture that is African history. Not only does the exhibition show video presentations and present art but they also have interactive exhibits that simulate what it feels like to be a part of a sit in during the 1960s. So decided to ask another student about how they felt when experiencing the simulation, Nayeli Soto was my go to. A sophomore at Woodstock, she told me “It felt very real, you could feel the hot breath on your ear, hear people shouting, pummeling each other in the background, I would have never had the strength to do it myself.” And while it’s terrifying, it’s also a very eye opening experience that will make you think twice about what you know.

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A mural at the Center for Civil and Human Rights Museum

Overall, February isn’t just another month to flip through in the calendar. Whether, you’re black, white, Asian, Hispanic, I think black history month is something that should bring all races together to celebrate, not separate us.

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