The Deeper Meaning of Black History Month

Students reflect on Black History Month


Elisha Christensen, Staff Writer

After the hectic year of 2020, with all the protests for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, 2021’s Black History Month “hits different” for Poway students. 

Last year was filled with the BLM (Black Lives Matter) protests around the world, protesting police brutality against people of color, and the celebrity deaths of such Black icons as Chadwick Boseman, Kobe Bryant, and Civil Rights activist  Rep. John Lewis. 

The year marked a rise in activism that has not been lost in 2021. For many Black Poway students, this month is very important. “It gives me a sense of pride and makes me proud to be a part of the black community,” Black Student Union (BSU) President Max Lloyd-Stern said. 

Lloyd-Stern, a Poway senior, has been planning and attending protests all last summer. His club has been very active during the protest season and plans on being active during this month. 

To Lloyd-Stern, and other BSU members, Black History Month is important..It is the time where the nation recognizes the incredible stories and struggles the Black community has gone through and the major accomplishments Black Americans have achieved throughout America’s history. 

This month is a good time to highlight the hidden history. One story senior Miles Wingfield wants people to recognized, is the amount of effort Malcolm X put into the Civil Rights Movement. Although Martin Luther King Jr. is widely known for his pacifist mentality, “with Malcolm X’s ‘by any means necessary’ philosophy, the movement was able to pick up even more steam,” Wingfield said. 

Furthermore, Lloyd-Stern wants police brutality to be highlighted more this month. Although many people came to know the extent and gravity of the effects police brutality has on the Black community, Lloyd-Stern says there is still more to learn and advocate for. The protests last year are basically the “re-spark {for} the black lives matter movement,” Lloyd-Stern said. 

Within the midst of Black suffering, non-black individuals may want to know what to do and how to help. According to senior Jessica Farrish, no one should feel left out, instead, they should feel ready to learn more about Black history. This is the perfect time to learn, to “celebrate and cherish their black friends,” Farrish said. 

To counteract the doom and gloom, this month is for highlighting Black Excellence according to the BSU members, Lloyd-Stern defines it as, “Black people thriving and doing great things even with the obstacles and challenges that come along with being black.” To others, it means much more. “It’s the backbone of this country,” senior Jessica Farrish said. 

There is so much to uncover that not even a month does it justice according to Wingfield. “I believe we as a society need to recognize these black historical figures all throughout the year rather than one month,” he said.  

“There is no American history without black history,” Farrish said and that is something students all can agree on.