How Tompkins’ Is Recognizing Black History Month


Maddie Fossitt

Black History Month is celebrated annually during the month of February. It is a celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the role of African-Americans throughout history. Often, elementary school students learn about famous African-Americans, like Rosa Parks or George Washington Carver and African-Americans’ struggles against slavery and discrimination, but many middle schools and high schools seldom take time out of their curriculum to honor or recognize Black History Month. Tompkins is unlike its counterparts.

Tompkins’ library is currently displaying multiple books that pertain to African-Americans in honor of this month. Students usually associate African-Americans with slavery or the Civil Rights Movement, but Black History Month puts more of an emphasis on the accomplishments of these individuals rather than their past hardships. The first step to understanding a culture is by becoming educated on certain events or individuals that set precedence for future generations, so go to the library and learn more about Frederick Douglass or Malcolm X by reading their biographies.

A Black History Month-themed trivia-question is currently being read aloud during Tompkins’ morning announcements. During all lunches, students can leave their answers with the principals to win a prize. There are many African-Americans that have contributed to the American culture and left their imprint on society, and our school created an interesting game that makes students want to participate and learn more about the role of African-Americans in America’s history.   

Every Friday throughout February, Motown music will be played during passing periods. Motown music made its mark not just on the music industry, but society at large, with a sound that has become one of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning successes of the 20th century and African-American culture. Musicians such as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and the Jackson 5 created music that communicated and brought together a racially divided country and segregated society.
Tompkins has made an effort to educate our students about African-Americans during Black History Month, and our school’s African-American population has been appreciative of this effort.