Black History Month On Campus
by Hannah Widerman on Friday, February 26th, 2016
In the United States, the month of February is Black History Month. According to Kolbi Bradley (I), a co-head of Milton Academy’s Onyx club, Black History Month is a month for “learning about and celebrating” the accomplishments and efforts made by people in the Black community. To spread awareness for Black History Month, Onyx has been selling hoodies, hanging up posters, and promoting their dance.
Since the beginning of February, Onyx has been selling hoodies to members of the Milton Community. The hoodie’s front reads “Onyx,” while the back features a black fist superimposed over the continent of Africa to showcase Black empowerment. The hoodie’s color scheme of black, green, yellow, and red—the Pan-African colors—contributes to this effect. According to Akua Owusu (IV), “Green [stands] for agriculture, yellow for gold and natural minerals, and red [for] the blood of our forefathers.”
In addition to clothing, Onyx is also celebrating Black History Month by putting a spotlight on some of history’s most influential African American thinkers such as Frederick Douglas. Anyone passing through the Student Center has surely noticed these posters highlighting the contributions of African Americans. During Onyx’s meetings, members have discussed, amongst other topics, the role of Black leaders’ bravery that “should be appreciated all year round,” according to Marho Omusi (IV).
Kolbi feels that since African Americans and their accomplishments oftentimes “can be glazed over in history class,” the posters in the Student Center present an excellent opportunity to “promote Black figures.” She thinks that the posters allow students to better “understand how Black People also contributed to the [history of the] United States.”
How does the rest of the Milton Community feel about these efforts? Olivia Risoleo (III) thinks that it is good that Milton “is acknowledging the importance of the month” properly. However, Genesis Pimentel (IV) does not think that many people in the community are recognizing Onyx’s efforts. Pierce Wilson (IV) also believes that most people do not stop “to read and appreciate the posters’ content,” and “ignore Onyx’s well-placed efforts.”
While the posters around the school have allowed many community members to commemorate the month through introspection and appreciation, Onyx also wished people to celebrate and rejoice. The club also organized a dance in Thacher Hall last Sunday to allow students to celebrate the accomplishments that Blacks in a festive environment. Through all of Onyx’s efforts, Bradley hopes that members of the Milton community have been able to “celebrate black history, and [recognize] that Black History is also American history.”
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