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The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

The Cat's Eye

Honoring the past, embracing the future; the importance of Black History Month

Graphic by: Bailee Small
Black History Month is celebrated in February to honor the contributions, resiliency, and impact of Black Americans.

February is dedicated as Black History Month; it honors all Black Americans of all periods of time, from the enslaved people taken from Africa in the 17th century to Black Americans now. Created by Carter G. Woodson, it originally started in 1926 as Negro History Week and expanded to Black History Month in the 1970s. Since 1926, other countries have joined the celebration including the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.  Black History Month brings light to the contributions of Black Americans to recognize them for their work and celebrate Black excellence.

According to the World Economic Forum, Black History Month is “a celebration of those who’ve impacted not just the country but the world with their activism and achievements. In the US, the month-long spotlight during February is an opportunity for people to engage with Black histories, go beyond discussions of racism and slavery, and highlight Black leaders and accomplishments.” 

Black History Month serves as a reminder of the resilience, creativity, and impact of Black and African Americans throughout history. The stories of struggles and triumphs have shaped not only American society but the global community as well.

There are well-known iconic figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman who spearheaded the civil rights movement. Many other lesser-known figures include Bayard Rustin, who organized the 1963 March on Washington, Jane Bolin was the nation’s first Black woman judge, and even Fredrick Mckinley Jones, who pioneered the modern refrigeration system. The contributions of African Americans have left a mark on the world and all should be acknowledged and recognized no matter how popular.

Black History Month provides an opportunity for reflection on the systemic injustices and inequalities that continue to persist. By shining a light on the achievements and experiences of African Americans, we can challenge stereotypes, confront biases, and work towards a more inclusive and equitable society.

Beyond the confines of February, it’s essential to continue amplifying Black voices, supporting Black-owned businesses, and advocating for policies that address racial inequalities. By actively engaging with Black history, year-round, we can honor the past, inspire the present, and pave the way for a more just and equitable future for all. 

“Black History Month is crucial in today’s society because it provides an opportunity to highlight the often-overlooked contributions and experiences of Black individuals throughout history. It allows us to acknowledge their resilience, achievements, and cultural richness, fostering a more inclusive and diverse understanding of our shared history,”  Rancho Cucamonga High School English teacher and BSU advisor Ms. Jenna Jemison said. 

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About the Contributor
Bailee Small
Bailee Small, Student Life Editor
Bailee Small is a sophomore at RCHS, and this is her second year in journalism. She is the section editor for student life for the school newspaper, The Cat’s Eye. Her favorite thing about journalism is being able to share stories and events of students and staff at RCHS. When she isn’t working on a story she loves to draw, and make jewelry. Small is also a  starter on the RCHS varsity tennis team. She is also a huge Marvel fan and loves reading comics and watching Marvel movies and shows.

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