Kenwood High Celebrates Black History Month


The door decorating contest winner- Mr. Shield’s door.

Amaya Freeman, Tabatha Miles, and Kayla Bey

Black History Month is celebrated throughout the month of February. In 1976, President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Here at Kenwood High School we love to embrace all different types of cultures and heritages. You can just walk around Kenwood’s halls to see the engagement students had in their classes creating posters and displays about the people, past and present, who greatly impacted and influenced Black culture.

Throughout Kenwood displays like this one lined the halls.

With the additional help of SGA, students have engaged in fun and knowledgeable activities to recognize past and present successes in the Black community. As we look back on Black History, we should know the well-known “Black Panthers,” where wearing all black was very common. The SGA set up a black-out day for Friday, February 25, where everyone wore all black for the whole day in honor of Black History Month.

Ms. Beaty and Ms. Franklin wearing their HBCU gear for HBCU Spirit Day.

Throughout the week of February 22-25 SGA hosted a Black History Month Spirit Week with a Black Film Day, Historical Black College & University (HBCU) day, Black Excellence Day, and Black-Out day. SGA also organized sharing a fact a day on the morning announcements throughout the month of February.

Kenwood’s daily sharing of amazing facts of those who came before us inspired student Shakiera Small to educate herself on her African American background. She shares,  “I started going online and researching about things I found interesting and important.”

But the school’s pride in Black History Month could simply be seen by walking the halls with the SGA sponsored Black History Month Door Decorating contest. All the amazing doors showcased and represented African American cultural, from beautiful hair, clothing, and African Americans’ impact on the world.

One of the many fantastic doors decorated for the SGA Black History Month Door Decorating Contest

On top of that many classes engaged in a variety of activities to recognize Black History Month. Down in Child Development Ms. Reed’s students decorated their doors with children’s books that feature a African American author and protagonist. Students also researched the authors to read their books to the preschoolers during the spring session. “Students learned about the importance of diversity in children’s books, and we looked at some statistics which are pretty eye opening. Our favorite is “Hair Love”!” shared Ms. Reed.

In Mr. Swain’s computer science’s classes they started every class watching a video from Crash Course on Youtube from their Black American History Series. In AVID students honored past KHS graduates by highlighting some AVID Alumni who are out there  making their own black history! In Ms. Leaf’s Foundations of Engineering class a black engineer/inventor was highlighted each week. Ms. Leaf shares, “I liked to find as many localized black engineers so we can realize a connection through living in the same area, some of those engineers I have highlighted are Henry Blair of Glen Ross, MD-the 2nd African American to receive a US patent, and regionally Hattie T Scott of Norfolk, VA-believed to be the first African American female to receive a BA in civil engineering. ”

AVID’s display of KHS grads making their own Black History.

Ms. Leaf even brought Black History to the girls lacrosse team she coaches. “I have been posting on our page a miniseries of what I have called “Great Blacks of Lax.” It is just a small bit on women of color in the world of Women’s Lacrosse.”

In the English department students participated in the BCPS ELA and Social Studies Black History Month Essay Contest, as well as reading All American Boys in their ELA 11 American Literature classes to expose activism to institutional racism. The ELA 9 classes engaged  in Selma learning projects focused on civil rights.

As the African American influence of the past has paved the way for young Africans Americans today, there is no denying that there is a constant need for education on Black History. This month continues to give African Americans an opportunity to come together and share their experiences and celebrate their heritage. SGA advisor Ms. Forman adds, “Kenwood is a school with a diverse population but a large Black population and we need to provide an outlet for students and staff to feel seen and celebrated.”

So many great displays throughout the building.

Throughout the month and throughout the school Kenwood showcased their pride in Black History. Ms. Forman adds, “As a black woman in America it is important to honor and represent Black culture and Black History. Black History month gives us a bigger platform to do so. We must honor our ancestors, bring awareness to our struggle, and celebrated our successes.”