What is Black History Month Missing?

2020 Black History Month at CKHS


From the Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board

by Sam Peterson, Assistant Editor

February is a month we use in order to celebrate the achievements and strides we have made for people of color. During black history month, (BHM) schools have assemblies showcasing achievements from students and equal rights activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali. However, at CKHS not much is usually done at school past an MLK assembly.


“They didn’t do anything last year. They had that showcase, that was not completely accurate and didn’t get finished until the last week. And there was no other kind of recognition it seemed like… I was pretty frustrated last year.” Said Mr. Sweet, teacher on special assignment for the district, such as training staff in the district on culturally responsive practices. “Olympic had a big assembly. They had some outside guests from the community, they had some school performances, poetry, speeches, some entertainment. Very well done.”


Along with Olympic high school’s assembly, there also have been activities at Barker Creek like their after school activities on the 27th, open to the district.


The extent of CKHS’s 2020 Black History month celebration was the MLK assembly. Spaces on the wall that could be used for posters, student work, or even just pictures of people celebrated during BHM have been blank all month.


This year at CKHS there was an assembly to honor the achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. including a section awarding students at the school with a “Student Peace” award, meaning that the student had done something extraordinary to ensure the inclusion of others.


Sam PeMiamaterson
Empty wall space at CKHS

“I’m happy that the things that I am doing are being recognized and are making an impact. There is a bit more pressure now, in order to live up to it.” Said James Guillory, one of the recipients of the Student Peace Award.


However, only having one month dedicated to black history means that there is a large amount of important information that is not getting discussed.


“I think it would be great if CKHS had an extra-curricular club, like a Black Student Union. This would enable the school community to honor and acknowledge the Black experience all year.” says Mrs. Rumpke, a history teacher here at CK.


At CKSD there are tons of things that students can personally do during BHM in order to celebrate the achievements of others. One thing is researching black history on your own time.


“You have to seek out what’s missing, and then realize that a lot of things are missing.” says Mrs. Blandin.


“And that takes work on the part of the teacher, to say “you know, I really don’t know about Hispanic contributions to math, what’s out there?’…  But that’s a mindset change, because a lot of people are still stuck in their old minds that women can’t do this or that, or blacks can’t do this or that, or whatever it is. And that requires professional educators to take the time and say ‘I’m going to learn about this, and figure out a way to incorporate it in my curriculum.’” Finishes Mr. Sweet.

And there are plenty of sites to learn about black history, such as the History site, where you can learn about major events in black history. Take the time to dive into the past on your own.