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Black History Month: Moving Forward

Sija Headrick, Writer

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Black History Month celebrates the accomplishments of African American people. In a survey of 39 students, only 14 of them celebrate. Some educated themselves about influential African Americans this month. Reece Shepard shared that a major issue faced in modern-day is inequality and prejudice toward African Americans. Jaylen Brown agreed, “It’s really just equality; we don’t feel we are equal.”

There are several events that have shaped the lives of African Americans. In modern society, racial profiling, bigotry with the Confederate flag, and the issue of biased employment represent issues that affect their lives today. However, some strides are being made in the black community. For example, a total of five black filmmakers, writers, and actors claimed Oscars, making history. Another major accomplishment recently is the presence of black artists in box offices. In television, African Americans are paving the way for future in Hollywood. At the Emmys in 2017, Donald Glover and Lena Waithe made history. Lena is the first African American woman to win for her writing in the comedy, Master of None. Glover accepted the win as the first African American to win outstanding director for the comedy series, Atlanta.

This past year there were many changes politically for African Americans lives. Many black candidates dominated the 2017 election including Justin Fairfax, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mary Parham-Copelan, LaToya Cantrell, and many more. In Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms became the second woman and second African American woman in office. Another woman to make history was LaToya Cantrell in New Orleans. There, she became the first African American women mayor. Black women helped Doug Jones win in the recent Alabama senate race, In December, 98% of black women voted for Jones and 93% of black men. Another big event in England will make history as well in 2018. Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle, the first African American princess in the royal family. In Maryland, Louisiana, Texas, and many other states they are trying to remove Confederate memorials after the white nationalist rallies in August. Some of the efforts were successful in the removal process; however in Memphis, Tennessee the process took major efforts. Finally, Confederate monuments got removed from two public parks by a group of African Americans.

Many issues continue to face the African American community: police brutality, victim mentality, lack of diversity in the workforce, urban terrorism, and economic policiesThough not everyone celebrates it, clearly there is still work to be done, and our student body should acknowledge Black History Month at least in the month of February, and they should strive toward equal treatment for all every day of the year.

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Black History Month: Moving Forward