Observing History

How Cy Woods celebrates Black History Month



A Photo of Martin Luther King, a prominent figure of Black History Month.

Every February, Americans all across the nation come together to celebrate Black History Month. According to the African American History Month web page, Black History Month is a time to “join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.” While it is  interesting to see how this month is nationally celebrated, it is also intriguing to observe how it is celebrated within small, closer communities, specifically how we honor this month at school.

While different departments of Cy Woods celebrate the month, the school’s main way to bring it attention is having a reminder when everyone can hear. The school has made special commentary about the different leaders throughout black history over the morning announcements before. They plan to continue that tradition this year.

Some other departments that have been know to participate in celebrating this month are the Life Skills classes and the library.

The Life Skills teacher Ladye Lindsay tries to do something with her students every year.

“In my classroom, we would [watch a video every week] of someone different: Booker T. Washington, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King, even Malcolm X, a lot of different African Americans who contributed to the history of America,” Lindsay said.

After watching videos, she allows her students to dive deeper into the history of the month.

“We would just watch a video. Then I would let them check out books and do little book reports about whoever they selected. That was our contribution,” Lindsay said.

In addition to celebrating Black History Month, Lindsay does a special lesson about Martin Luther King on MLK day.

“On Martin Luther King day, we did things in class. We did a crossword puzzle [and] coloring; we did a whole little unit on Martin Luther King’s birthday and his contribution to American History,” Lindsay said.

The library also has a special way to recognize Black History Month.

“We are definitely going to have a [book] display for Black History Month. I think it’s very important for students to acknowledge, recognize and honor Black History Month,” Head Librarian Terrie Schexnaider said.

The library creates book displays for multiple events and year after year continues to celebrate events in this fashion.

“[The turnout in the past] was good. I think anytime we do a display, it makes [the students] notice [books] they wouldn’t when [they’re] just on the shelves,” Schexnaider said.

Within the display, African Americans are represented in various ways. There are books written about important African American figures from history, books featuring African American characters, and books written by up-and-coming African American authors.

“I feel like it shows the importance of African Americans to our country and to the world: things they have done to make a difference for us,” Schexnaider said.