Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Black History Month

Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual observance originating in the United States, where it is also known as African-American History Month. It has received official recognition from governments in the United States and Canada and more recently has been observed during October in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Black History Month marks achievements made by African Americans and is a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

2024 Black History Month Activities

The Students of Color Affinity Group & Art Club
Both school groups hosted a Black History Month Paint & Sip complete with watercolors, sparkling soda, and lemonade. SOCA President, Zoe Daly '24, presented on three influential Black artists: Faith Ringold, Lois Mailou, and Alma Thomas. Students then created their own work of art inspired by these pieces.

English III, AP Language & Composition, and English IV Honors
These classes discussed and printed inspiring quotes from Zora Neale Hurston and James Baldwin - both influential literary artists of the Harlem Renaissance - and hung them up in Dr. Joseph Bonk's classroom.

"We've read poetry by Paul Laurence Dunbar and watched a poetry performance - inspired by Dunbar's work and Rosa Parks' activism - by memoirist Maya Angelou. Students also studied President Obama's February 27th, 2013 speech dedicating a statue in honor of Rosa Parks at the U.S. Capitol," said Dr. Bonk.

Students also read works by Jamacia Kincaid, an author who grew up on the island of Antigua and now teaches at Harvard. Specifically, they are reading her texts A Small Place and "On Seeing England for the First Time" - these readings will continue into March, which marks Women's History Month.

Peer Ministry
During the month of February, Peer Ministry Club members focused on the Critical Concern of Racism and Black History Month. In their meetings, the students were inspired by the great artistic contributions during the Harlem Renaissance. In order to not only celebrate the beauty of Black History, but to also understand how the arts were used to combat racism, Peer Ministry Club created a "quilt" to help the Mount community visualize these ideas. In the quilt, different squares highlight important artists, their artwork and the timeline that wove it all together. The quilt was displayed outside of the Student Center.
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