Black History Month

Black students reflect on what February means to them

Black History Month is the celebration of achievements made by African Americans and their roles in U.S. history. 

“It’s not just about one month…,” Junior Laila Wheeler said. “Everybody should come together and be accepting and loving towards one another no matter what their skin color is.” 

The Journal interviewed a few active Black students at SHS to hear their voices on injustice and personal accomplishments.

Equality was a strong topic mentioned throughout the interviews. All students agree that there needs to be more change when it comes to equal rights.

Junior Laila Wheeler (Sophie McKinney)

Wheeler is mixed race, as her father is black and her mother is white. Growing up, she says that she didn’t face heavy discrimination, but she finds it disheartening when her father does. 

On her parent’s date night, her parents were refused service because her father was black. She is reminded again of the simple human rights Black people have had to fight for and is saddened by the fact that this discrimination is still taking place.

“It’s about being equal and knowing where you stand in society,” Wheeler said. “And sometimes that can be hard for Black individuals.”

Senior Timothy Davis is also mixed race and has an African American father and a Columbian mother. He understands that someone may not grow up knowing much about their culture because it is mixed with the other, or one culture will dominate the other.

As a person of color and also a part of the LGBT, both parts of Davis’s identity were still being introduced to his community as he grew up. People weren’t as accepting at first, but it was his goal to create a safe environment for students and staff alike. 

“As much negativity as I got, I got beautiful positivity…,” Davis said.

He enjoys the representation of Black and LGBT members in films. He admires how far black people have come to be main characters in everyday television. 

Junior Princess Kioni remembers being made fun of in middle school by other black students while she was growing up because she had darker skin. 

During the summer of 2019, she gained more confidence in her own skin and learned to love herself.

Senior Timothy Davis (Photo contributed by Timothy Davis)

“All skin complexions are so gorgeous,” Kioni said. “And I just wish I knew that growing up because it took so long to realize that.” 

Junior Princess Kioni (Sophie McKinney)

February holds great significance to these students and they are reminded that attitude changes still need to happen towards the Black community. They take this time to learn from people of color who helped shape society.

People like Madam C.J. Walker, an African American entrepreneur,

and Garrett Morgan, the man who invented the traffic light, are people who have inspired them. 

“They were the stepping stones in order for me to do what I can do today,” Davis said.