Black History Month in Barnstable


How Barnstable celebrates black history month, sponsored by the Barnstable Ally Group. Photo collage of doors above by Elaina Dunson.

Elaina Dunson, Staff Writer

Black History Month is filled with pride and power. Black people are one of the many marginalized groups in not only America but the world. According to the United States Census Bureau, black people only make up 13.6% of the U.S population. In comparison, 75.8% of the American population is white. Black History Month is a way to highlight black people, and their accomplishments in America. 

Black History Month first began when historian and author, Dr. Carter G. Woodson initiated the first “Negro History Week” in 1926. As the years went by, it expanded from just a week to the entire month of February. February was officially recognized as Black History Month in 1976. Black History Month is a time to recognize and appreciate important black people in America. According to the College Group, three-fourths of African Americans celebrate Black History Month. 

“A lot of times I think about what our ancestors endured and despite all of that we’ve managed to do some pretty cool things,” said Krissie Williams, history teacher and leader of the Barnstable Ally Group. “I love Black History Month. It should be something we celebrate all around the year. It’s one time in the year we are able to show our pride to the world.”

 Black History Month gives African Americans a chance to embrace their history. It allows not only African Americans but all black people from all different cultures to come together and acknowledge the pain and accomplishments made. 

“When I was 14, I was walking to catch the bus from a shopping center and a group of white guys drove past me and yelled the n-slur at me. It was the first time I was really able to understand racism,” Williams said. 

While Black History Month highlights black accomplishments, it is also a reminder of the injustices African Americans have faced.

There are many trials and tribulations when it comes to facing racism as a black person there are also so many good things.

 “I love our culture. I love the food and music. I’m just happy I was born black. I don’t mean it in a negative way.” Williams said. “It’s just that our culture’s so rich and even with the racism, there’s never a day where I wake up and don’t want to black.” 

Having pride in who you are is an important part of life. Black History Month allows for black kids around the US to indulge in the pride they should feel all the time. 

“Being black means a lot to me because of my culture.” said Freshman, Leesanera Gray. 

Black students express their pride in outward ways all the time, even outside of the month. They live black history all throughout the year.

Gray said, “the culture, the music, people and the influence that black people have made on the whole world,” is what she loves about being black. 

Black History Month is not the only month where cultures are celebrated. In June it’s Caribbean Heritage Month and in May, it’s Asian Heritage Month. All these months and the ones like them are equally important because they shine a light on the vast and beautiful cultures that might not be taught in schools. It allows people of those cultures to feel seen in a place where they are not the majority.